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CI CI ATI: JE I GS A D GRAHAM EW YORK: EATO A D MAI S
COPTBIGHT, 1914, BY William A. Qcatle
Page Love Comes, 15 My Prayer, 16 An Autumn Camp, 17 A Dream, -------- 18 ot Bound, But Free, 19 The Spring Wind, 20 A Hymn of Reform, 21 The Poor Man's Prayer, - - - - 22 The Poet, 22 To Serve To-day, 23 Kismet, 24 The Wings at ight, 25 A Thought of Life, 26
God's Better Things, 27 A Battle Dream, 28 The Will of God, - - - - - - 29 A Quatrain, - -29 The Violet Saith, 30 Trust, 30 The Storm, 31 The Summer Wind, 32 The ightless Day, 32 On Window-Panes, 33 3
Page The Shadows Lengthen; It Will Soon Be ight, 34 A Song of the Journey, - - - - - 35 The Snow at ight, 37 When Twilight Beckons Back Her Stars, - 38 A-Fishing, 39 The Song, 40 Mother, 41 A Pact With Death, 43 The Sea-Wreck, - 44 An Angel Said, 45
When Autumn Fades, 46 Unafraid, 47 At Holiday, 48 Sonnet, 52 Voices, 53 The Bending of the Bow, - - - - 54 The Autumn Wind, 56 The Victor, 57 I^i'EEL the Hill Winds on My Cheek, - 57 Sin, 58 When April Heals Wild Winter's Scars, - 60 God's Symphony, 60 Thou Art My Lord, 61 When Love Is Gone, 62 Good- ight, 62 4
Page The orth Wind, 63 The Heart-Cry, 63 Bereft, 64 Beside the Sea, - 65 The Soul, 66 Blow, Wind of God, 67
My Torch, - - 68 Afterwhiles, 68 Haste, My Hand, - - - . . - 69 The Grapes Which Grew on Thorny Stems, 70 A Son of the Vikings, I 71 An Arrow, 72 Desert Goldenrod, 73 Uphill, 74 The Hills of God 75 The Wind of God, 76 Too Late, 77 The Music of Running Water, - - - 78 A Hymn at Christmas, 80 My Rosary, 81 The Dreamer, 82 Toward Manhood, 82 Unlonely Loneliness, 83 Sea Sonnets, 84 A Quatrain, 86 5
Page The Ford, - - 87
The Wistful Years, 88 If, - 89 When All My Life is Gathered in a Sheaf, - 90 Slain, 91 Dear Heart, 92 Mistaken, 92 The Clouds, 93 The Hill of Loss, ------ 94 Unfaith, - - 95 On the Stair, 96 To Bring to Morn the Day for Which Earth Yearned, - - - -- - - 97 Enough, 98 This, I Said, 99 I Lie Amidst Red Clover Blooms, - - - 100 Soul Loquitur, 100 Who Quireth ow Along the Hills, - - - 101 The Harp That Once Was Mine, - - - 102 Beside a Brook, 103 Who Lit Yon Star? 103 Sonnet, 104 A Man I Knew, 104 The Tiger Flower, 105 6
Page A Lullaby, 106 The Building of the Hut, 108 Harvestless, - -110 Wild Clematis, 110 My God, to Thee, Ill Spring Cometh, Ill She Wore a Kertle Willow-green, - - 112 Fain Would I Listen in the Hush of Bells, - 113 MoRiTURUs Saluto, 114 The Wistful Days, -114 Eastertide, 115 Morning on Eastward Mountains, - - - 116 December-June, - 116 I Love Thy Cross, 117 Beset, -._ ng Forecast, 119 The Sea in Sleep, -119 A Hymn of Serving, ------ 120 o ight is There, 121 Forgive Me, Lord, 122 I Care ot, 123 He Loved the Dusk, 124 A Work Song, 126
The Sparrow, 127 When Spring Comes Home, - - - - 128 7
Page A Prayer, 130 Violets, 131 I Saw the Christ Where Battle Shocked, - - 132 My Home, 133 Lord of eed, for Thee I Grope! - - - 134 A Father's Grave, 135 The Voices, 136 Hope, 137 1 Work My Work — Three Sonnets, - - - 138 I Met Old Care, - 140 Old Care Met Christ, 142 Sonnet, 143 Prairie Wind, 144 October, --- 145 Lord, to be Kept, 146 I Saw a Boat at Anchor on a Bay, - - 147 Fearfulness Makes Estimate of Himself, - 148 The Martyr, - - - - - - - 150
My Prairies, 151 Friend, Rest Thee! 153 Sea! 154 At ight, 155 1 Plucked a Feather from an Eagle's Wing - 156 or Reckoned on the Miracle of Spring, - 157 ot Here, -------- 158 8
Page The Poet's Thoughts, 159 When Doubts Arise, ------ 160 Life Dawdled with Me Smiling Many a Year, 161 Far Went the Road and Winding, - - _ 162 The Hand of God, 164 The Hush of Evening Settles on My Heart, - 165 A Summer ight, 166 Across All Worlds I Think One Day to Stride, 168 I Know a Glorious Mountain Where the Day, 169 This Day I Front Me on Eternity, - - - 170 I Rest, Content, 171 I Climb the Hills, 172 I Think of Him, 173 Heart's Desire, 174 I Saw the Leader of an Orchestra, - - 175 I Know a Wildwood Coppice, - - - - 176 Great Swordless Captain, - - - - 178
Out of the Deeps, 179 The Vapor Spoke, 180 An Easter Hymn, 181 The Return, 182 I Found a Broken Harp Upon the Ground, - 183 An Angel Came, 184 Beyond the Gates, 185 The Tavern of the Comforted, - - - 186 9
Page Life, Be Stern, 188 A Hymn, 190 Wings, 191 Along the Ceilings of My Being's Rooms, - 192 All's Well, 193 Child Dreams, 194 The Blessed Book, 195 Hymn, 196 1 Saw an Angel With a Smiling Face, - - 197 Then God Takes a Hand, _ . - - 198 I Saw the Swift Evanishment of ight, - - 199 Thou Shalt ot, 200 A Resurrection Song, 202 The Desert Journey, 203
Where Lies That Land? 205 I Stood at Bay Among Tall, Ragged Peaks, - 207 Thy City, Lord, 208 Shakespeare, - - 209 My Life Walks Out Into the Dawn, - - - 210 My Soul, One Question, 211 Ulysses and the Sea, 212 The Years, 215 When Through the Dark I Grope, - - - 216 Trust, 217 The Welcome, 218 10
Page Fear ot, 219 God Cares for Thee, 220 Light at Eventide, 221 There is Dusk for the Day, . _ _ _ 221 As One Who Tugged at by the Sleeve Awakes, 222 The Christ, 223
Love Comes Before the Coming am weary, weary!" The weary watcher said. "My life is dreary, dreary: Grief stabs and Hope is deado "Oh, I am weary, weary! or know I where to turn, Life is so very dreary; I sigh and sob and yearn. "Oh, I am weary, weary! The sad sea's toss and flow Are not so dreary, dreary. As my insistent woe." Love Comes " ow I am weary, weary. But laugh and call and sing: Life is not dreary, dreary. But gracious as the Spring."
My Prayer 10RD of my mercies, let my prayer -^ Engage Thy heart. Thou knowest where And how I dwell and what my need, What wounds I bear and how they bleed.
Thou knowest how my battle fares. What shame betimes its banner wears: But how, although amiss I fight, Thee ever, only Thee, I sight. O Helper God, O Christ divine, Fight Thou within this heart of mine; Since if Thou dost my battle share. My banner shall God's triumph wear.
An Autumn Camp UPO a windy autumn hill I camp among the blowing leaves, That whirl and fall and sadly fill The hollows and the empty nests. All day winds whimper through the trees With plaintive lonesomeness of tune; All day the wistful sunlight flees As from a huntsman on its track. The hill is crowned with solemn woods, Some naked as a sheathless sword. Some glorious as with fiery hoods That holy, ancient martyrs wore. Some, piebald greens and golds and reds, A chequer work of radiant dyes Like tapestries of gorgeous shreds And meant to pave the autumn floors. The clouds are like a flock of swans That slowly wheel to voyage south. And ere another morning dawns Will vanish, to appear no more. My fire is built with branch and leaves The winds have hacked from burly trunks; And while the wind, unceasing, grieves. The fire emits its fragrant smoke 2 17
Which whirls, in eddies slow and blue, Uneager to escape the place. And sails my little coppice through Like some dim sky that slants and falls. And in the night the moon is bright And slowly smiles from sky to sky; And all the middle night has light That streams through slumbers dreamily. And all the night the wild winds walk Across the tree-tops like the waves, And interchange melodious talk Like dialogues of Plato's days. The habitable world is lost Upon this lonesome autumn hill. And care-full cares are plucked and tost Like leaves upon a hurrying stream.
DREAMED I held the hand of God
Across my heart at rest. And felt that peace whose storm is calm Hold kingship in my breast.
ot Bound But Free truth, we cast not dice In shuffler's hand, the price Of outcome good or bad, The only to be had. ay ! not a dice-box chance, But forged sword or lance. To win the war we wage To be the prince or sage. ot blind Fate owns the sky: God wills we live, not die. We plow and tend the earth While God and we grow worth. ot on our neck the heel That tramples dead our weal, But in our hand the rod Bequeathed to us of God. And Omar's tavern gray. With Death and Life at play, Is not our hostelry — We be high-born and free. 19
ot red rose but white flower Henceforth shall be our dower. We challenge war with Fate And take the road elate.
The Spring Wind H, I am like the shimmer Of sunlight on the wheat! My voices, they are dimmer Than lovers', when they meet. My feet are further going Than waves that walk the sea; The wild-flowers are a-blowing And laugh out loud for me. Oh, I am Springtime's lover, That wooes with kisses swift, And flowers like blushes cover Where, late, pale snows did drift. Oh, I am called the Spring W^ind, And am in naught forlorn, And am unto the stars kinned. And to the dewy morn! 20
A Hymn of Reform nPHOU who didst bring, in days of old, •■• God's message from above, Dwell in our hearts, lest they grow cold, Forgetful of Thy love. Thou Fire of God, for Thee we pray Our sacrifice to burn. So that the thing we do this day May God's approval earn. For Thou hast made us, in our day. Reformers of the world — Elijahs who, with Ahabs, may Into the fight be hurled. As with Elijah, long ago, Thou didst Thy forces join. And make the heedless heathen know Thy sword was at Thy loin, So join with us and bring our fight To a victorious peace; Because for Thee, and by Thy might, We war and never cease.
The Poor Man's Prayer A POOR man prayed and fumbled o'er His heart's petitions one by one, And humbly kneeled upon the floor Of rented tenement, where sun Hath neither morn nor noon. The damp, Ill-smelling room was windowless.
From month to year he used a lamp To read God's Book with a caress. This poor man cried; and from the Height Of morning hills God heard his prayer. And shined upon his heart a light Which banished all his want and care.
The Poet angel, flying through the sky, Let fall a leaf from his heart's book; or knew his loss, but wondered why A shining face from earth did look. A Poet, on a day of thought Sublime, high-dreamed, and wild-rose flame, The falling leaf perceived and caught. Transcribed the scroll, and conquered fame.
To Serve To-day F I but serve my day, If I can help its May To June, then God be praised. If only through brief years I may wipe sorrow's tears Away, then God be praised.
If on the way I walk, I may with kindly talk Help men, then God be praised. If only while I stay, I shall make glad the way Of some, then God be praised ot immortality I crave as boon to me. But help for men amazed. And blest beyond compare Their joy and care to share. If so, may God be praised. 23
To serve the where I dwell, To serve it kindly, well, If so, my God be praised. ot dateless years to stay. But just to serve to-day: And thus, may God be praised.
Kismet CAGED bird. Thou canst not fly: Hope deferred, ow sing and die.
The Wings at ight 1 HEARD the beat of wings one night, Of wings as strong as winds of storm: I felt in them resistless might: I guessed their majesty of form. I rose and stood beneath the dome Of the stooped heavens, that stoop so high, While through those spacious spaces roam Those wings of angels of the sky. Oft had I heard the boom of seas Break on a rock-bound, barren coast. But never melody like these Rejoicing wings of angel host.
And whither fly you, wings of night; And how far wing you, pinions strong?" But these nor tarry in their flight, or weary though the flight be long. I heard the beat of angel wings: I heard their pinions music make As when a heavenly chorus sings And from their spirits music shakes. 25
Their flight — the flight of wings of power, Though not a word those angels spake—
Hath helped me many a weary hour And made my soul strong courage take. To know that while I walk the Earth White wings patrol the lofty sky Brings to me showers in days of dearth And cheer and song of courage high.
A Thought of Life npHE thing I thought was life, 1 That life was not — A transitory cause, A scribbler's blot. What I thought life was not. That thing life was — A Glory beyond thought. Without a pause.
God's Better Things S one who holds a letter in his hand With seal unbroke, and looks away and dreams. Both near and far unseen, forgot, while streams White light on him and what he holds ; unplanned This strange neglect as heartache in a land Of spring, though what the letter holds he deems
Of lesser worth and merit; dreaming seems Diviner good, beneath whose shade to stand, — Thus I, who hold this earthly life a boon Worth holding, and worth loving too, do still Esteem it of less value than the vast Expected life on which I enter soon. When earth's schooldays are ended and the thrill Of pain and death and resurrection past.
A Battle Dream DREAMED that in a battle I was slain, And lay, face downward, with a host of dead. The fight still piped its clamorous refrain. And living men their precious life-blood shed. In death I felt the earth, dead-drunk with blood, Ache under all the crush of angry war. And felt the charge on charge succeed — a flood — And heard the triumph of what I died for. And then, though dead, I stumbled to my feet And shook my hacked sword in my bleeding hand. And called, above the roar of guns, *'I greet. Though dead, my loved, my liberated land." And then I heard the bloody swords seek sheath; And all the plunging shots grew mute of breath. I felt War's red hands weave a victor's wreath
To guerdon, with a shout, my brow in death.
The Will of God T^E will of God, that arches all; •■• It springs a sky above our hearts, And brings into our lives a call Which never from our strength departs. The will of God, that thunder rolls And challenges the lives of men In converse with all kindred souls, And guides them to a diadem. The will of God! The angels bow Their shining faces on their hands And make to God their holy vow To walk the way His will demands. The will of God, that bridges Time And all eternities to be. And makes a universe sublime Fit subject of the Deity. A Quatrain 1MIX my tears with songs, Because my woes embark i~ In righting earth's black wrongs And shutting out earth's dark. 29
The Violet Saith GIVE scant heed," a violet said, "Whether to live or to be dead. I have one simple ministry Which is the sum of life to me. I have a call from God to bloom. What, after that, are death and tomb? My lips have kissed the royal sun; When that is come, my race is run.'* Trust F God wilt stay beside me When life's mercies turn to dust, Then joy and peace abide me. And I dwell in perfect trust. Men beat their shields together And they think to make me fear; But I am careless whether I shall journey There or Here. If Thou wilt walk beside me, Then my heart shall lift its psalm, For joy and peace abide me; And in storm-time I am calm. 30
HIS way The tempest passed, and slew The gray Tree-multitudes that knew ot Death By name, but solely thought A breath Of grandeur swept and caught Their hands In passing, and would loose Their bands Of might in kindly truce Of storms, And they should lift once more Their forms As in glad days of yore. But now They know the way of Death, And how He strikes, nor light nor breath Has song. From this day forth their sky Shall long For music till it die.
The Summer Wind
MY breath is hot With kissing the wheat; And my Hps have caught Her kisses so fleet.
The ightless Day 'TTHERE is a land of nightless day, 1 Where gloomy shadows never rise; Where twilights come not, dim and gray. To shame and darken Glory's skies. This is God's Land, His land and mine. Of spring-time morning, chaste delight. With service radiant and fine. Which needs no respite and no night. My heart sings glad and wistful hymns, What time it foldeth hands to pray; But all its lonely longing dims While dreaming of this nightless day.
On Window-Panes I Winter days, on window-panes, Fair Summers dream their gladness o'er. And grow dim, shadowy, restful lanes Of elm tree and of sycamore.
I watch the glass and, watching, see Dear Summers flushed with radiant June, And hear the song-bird, wild with glee. And insects drone their drowsy tune. I see far mountains wrapped in blue. And clouds that drift along the sky, And valleys where, with variant hue. The wild-flowers bloom and, blooming, die. I see the shaggy mountains throw On high their plumes of oak and pine. And roses in hid gardens grow Their garlands ruddy as old wine. On window-panes ! There Summer springs Like lark into deep skies of blue. And lifts itself on singing wings From meadow nest begemmed with dew. 33
Without, the winter-blast sings loud And trumpets like an angry bard: Within, Spring, with its wind and cloud. Drifts incense sweet as precious nard.
The Shadows Lengthen; It Will Soon Be ight THE shadows lengthen; it will soon be night. Against the western mountains blackness crowds. Though glory makes the eastern summits bright,
The stars will soon be flocking, clouds on clouds. My shadows lengthen; it will soon be night. My groping-call will mingle with the wind. Howbeit, I shall clamber, height on height. And everlasting sunrise duly find.
A Song of the Journey I AM going on my journey, glad with joy from dawn to dark With the spirit of the morning and the carol of the lark: I am drinking at those fountains whence the living waters flow, I am hearing heaven's music as along my way I go. And my heart is full of laughter, like the singing of a psalm; My sky bends blue above me with its winds of evening balm; And I know not any trouble, for I have the Tempest's King To change my Winter's fury to the gladness of His Spring. I have heard my Master calling, and His voice is music sweet; And He bids me march right forward, nor dream of a retreat.
He says His Land of Beulah lies before me, out of sight. Where reigns the deathless daylight, never shadowed by the night. 35
He bids me do my duty, though humble it may be, And do what thing Hes nearest in glad humility; For Christ is one that serveth, and thinks no service mean That helps the world's endeavors to help its heart be clean. So I walk highways and byways; and my hands are rough with toil As I try to make a garden out of hard, mfertile soil; But I see God's flowers a-growing where there grew no flowers before; And my life is full of gladness, as I work God's work the more. Bless God! My lot is holy like a temple with its calm; And I envy not an angel, with his harp-song and his palm. For I am God's own helper; and He calls me by my name. And says my work is holy as a sacrificial flame. So I go along my journey, glad with joy from dawn to dark With the spirit of the morning and the carol of the lark,
For I drink at those bright fountains whence the living waters flow, And I hear heaven's gladsome music as along my way I go. And my heart is full of laughter, like the singing of a psalm ; My sky bends blue above me with its wind of evening balm; And I know not any trouble, for I have the Tempest's King To change my Winter's fury to the gladness of His spring.
The Snow at ight nPHE fields and woods are white with dust, 1 Blown in the night from stars remote, That shineth pure like holy trust Which good men unto God devote.
When Twilight Beckons Back Her Stars WHE Twilight beckons back her stars Into the blue, unfretted sky, And blackbirds from horizon bars Unto their nestplace homeward fly, Then is the hour for tired hearts
To lean them toward their rest on God; To scan, through tears, the heavenly charts That guide them home from far abroad. The twilight comes to aching breasts That know not how pain's day can cease, or dream that they may be the guests Of the unseen Eternal Peace.
A-Fishing 'WEET was the meadow scent, ^ And blue the sky, When we a-fishing went, My rod and I. Cares stayed at home, in bed, While we went free: And scurvy care is dead To such as we. Green was the summer land: The air was balm; Fair the bleak pine-trees stand: My heart was calm. Out on the river's rim My spirit sings Roundels of praise to Him Who Summer brings. So, while fair morning drifts,
Fishing I go. Down through the green wood's rifts Warm sunlights glow. 39
Glad laughter takes my hand And holds it tight As through this summer land I stray till night.
The Song P through the heavens Flew the lark, free and far: Down through the heavens Sped his song, like a star.
Mother BEFORE I knew her, she had trod Across the rare celestial blue, To make her dwelling-place with God, Amidst the mornings and the dew. A fair, sweet face, my father said,
A witchery, of woman worth. A golden glory crowned her head: Her heart was eager for my birth. Her eyes were solemn, wonder-lit, With dreamful love, a steady look That gazed straight on and up, and fit For faith and sunrise and the Book. A woman far removed, at death, Across wide seas, from native land; And at life's eventide a breath From mountain heights her spirit fanned. Beside the sea her girlhood dwelt. Where sea-sands spread and sea-cliffs clomb; And on the cliffs the heather smelt, And sea-wrecks fed the fires of home. 41
Her dimming eyes dwelt on the hills Which climbed to snowy heights sublime. A mountain peace her spirit fills, The hours she drifts from shores of time. She looked my father in the face With look he dreamed on till he died. And said she loved him, and that grace Would set her with the glorified. She looked at me, her early born. With skies of love in her sweet eyes —
"I wait for him in the far morn. The timeless morn of Paradise." Her hands fell, wandering, on my face Like a beatitude; and awed. She gently prayed a moment's space — And so stepped out to dwell with God. or know I yet my mother's look. or have I felt my mother's kiss; But shall some daytime cross the Brook, And press her mother lips in bliss. 4£
The Brook is death: beyond Hes Life, Its holy meadows sown to stars. There Mother dwells where nothing dies, or aught the age-long glory mars. She loveth still her little lad, or is she aught in love remiss; But will some happy day be glad To give to him his morning kiss.
A Pact with Death E day I made a pact with Death, Death made a pact with me. He swore for aye to lend me breath; I swore from him to flee.
And so we parted, Death and I, To go our several ways; But I came back without a sigh. And Death showed no amaze.
The Sea- Wreck T crouched upon the rocks Like wounded Hon paralyzed. Where wild sea swirls and shocks. Mad ocean-riot realized.
With helpless claws it held Its wounded, helpless, weary hold Where rocking sea tides swelled With seas' grim perils manifold. Once had it swept the sea Elate in rapture through the storm. And ventured in wild glee Where battling sea- waves sternly form. But here, alas ! and now It sprawls, a spent magnificence. The sea sands on its prow,
And shamed and shorn of all defense. Aye, wonder prone, but great! It hath the ruthless ocean crossed And boldly met its fate, A glorious couchant wreck, sea-tossed. 44
A splendor of the scud Of storm, a strength which once was strong, A vagrant of the flood, Though now a wreck, — for aye a song.
An Angel Said SAW an angel standing strong And tall as hills that climb the sky: His words were as a triumph song Which, chiming, said, "Thou shalt not die."
When Autumn Fades WHE autumn fades, and from the windy hill And forest glades beside the quiet rill The splendor wastes; and all the happy trees
Are quite defaced of beauty, and the breeze Makes deep lament, with laughter quite forgot, As it were meant for threnody and not For merry mood : and when the blackbirds fling Their dusky brood across the sky on wing Toward fields remote, and wild geese, flying high, With muffled note make speed across the sky. And redbirds blaze through naked loneliness Of woodland ways: and full of deep distress The moaning trees, where beat tumultuous tides Of angry waves, whose stormy music chides: And all the ways are sown with withered leaves. And all the days are dim with haze, and grieves The wintry wind, and the year's evening shades Grow dusk, and blind the storms, — then autumn fades! 46
Unafraid I SHALL not stare with blinking eyes Upon the face of God; But I shall climb, with glad surprise. The hills by laughter trod. I shall not crouch, with hope forlorn. When I God's glory see; But I shall lift a song that morn, Song of eternity.
At Holiday T rest, I sit And smile. The while, The happy while. The glad birds flit. With melody, To nests Where rests The happy brood So gleefully. The world Has whirled From dewy dawn To purple night While my vexed brawn. In free delight, Doth naught at will. Or aught at will, While milkweed bloom. With lush perfume, Makes summer air To loll and swoon; And skies are fair And wild bees droon, 48
And waters fall And chime and call; And locusts shrill, From vale to hill, Their wide content And languishment Of days that drawl Like lazy speech.
And strong men sprawl Upon the beach And hear the rune That hath for tune Delight All night, And play All day. While summer wastes But never hastes. And winds blow soft; And all aloft The chiming rain Patters refrain, And weariness Forgets its stress 'Mid the caress 49
Of twilight's calm And morning's balm And from us lift The foam and drift Of summer clouds. The toil that crowds Is borne afar, And thoughts that mar Life's symphony Grow mute as death; And melody Hath sky and breath. On sands to stretch While song waves sing And memories fetch Their calm, and cling. Through pines to stride On slippy spines. On streams to glide Where tangling vines In sweet winds sway: To breast the waves And with them play While sunlight paves
The cleansing sands And gladness beckons With both hands, And reason reckons ot, but stands To dream a listless dream. And love, at idleness, With questing eyes at gleam, Bids fare-you-well to stress. At holiday With mood to play And heart to sing And thoughts to wing Away, away, O happy way. At hoHday!
Sonnet STA D upon the windy hill and watch Immeasurable morning flush the east, Watch tardy dawn push slowly back the yeast Of blackness — sullen, stolid, one vast splotch Of yieldless sovereignty: and then a notch Is cut in the long dark, and then a feast Of splendor sways like bannered fire, increased Till Heaven's a fiery scutcheon without blotch. Once to behold such pageant glorious — Once to perceive the light eclipse the dark, ight's stars all quenched in matchless solar light, And mark the day stride forth, victorious — Gives Faith bold wings upon the sky to embark, Safe in the final conquest of the right.
UT of the north the winter comes, And out of the south the springs; And winter hath a voice like drums, The spring hath a chime of wings. Down from the noon the summers swim, And out of the night the fall With a sob like voice of waters dim; And summer hath harvest call.
The Bending of the Bow I CA bend this bow! 'T is of mighty make; And my strength is slow And my muscles shake. I can bend this bow! Though I can not now. Yet my strength can grow And my might can bow Like a leaning wall. Like a sea wave's break. Like an army's call, Like an earthquake shake. I can bend this bow! It shall one day twang By the might I know Till the arrow-clang Shall affright the sky With its battle breath; And it, by and by. Shall stampede Death. 54
So this bow I hold, Like a loving hand,
While my strength I mold By what I withstand. And the victory comes. ot by what we are, But by battle drums We can hear afar. By our weakness grown To a strength unguessed. By a falling prone, By the fight possessed. By a hope like wings. By a trust sublime. So the bow string sings And the arrows chime. So the bow I try Which I can not bend; And the arrows fly, — And the end, the end!
The Autumn Wind BRIMFUL of loss, and grieving, Gray autumn's wind am I; And mine the song-birds leaving. And mine the fretful sky. And mine the sad heart aching; Oh, mine the drip of tears : Mine, too, the sad heart's breaking
That endeth but with years. And mine the flame-leaf falling. So loath to drift and die; And mine the wild geese calling A-honking through the sky. And mine the voice grown weary With calling to dead flowers Across a landscape dreary, Where the gray rain-cloud lowers. Gh, mine the hopeless whining About the casements dim, A harp with no divining Of bloom or hope or hymn. 56
The Victor ■'AI T am I from lost blood which I have shed On battlefields far off and near, where cause Sublime hath had its battle; and applause Hath harped on twanging sinews of the dead; And where I stood, whoever stood or fled, or ever, for one heart-beat, made a pause In fighting for the throning of those laws Enacted for an earth with carnage red. Drained dry my veins, and shivering my hand: My sword is fallen, and my shield is missed; Mine eye so dim, I can not find them now. I dimly hear the charge, nor understand
Which way it clamors. Clearly, Death hath kissed Me. Yet God binds His laurel on my brow.
I Feel the Hill Winds on My Cheek 1FEEL the hill winds on my cheek. Although no hills I see. Across this desert waste and bleak God bloweth hope to me.
Sin DWARFED, vulture-beaked, with vulpine eyes, bloodshot, A-squint and set to a perpetual lear; A nose which seemed a wart, blood-red and slant; A mouth all wrinkled to a hundred scorns. And lips from which, in drops like poison blood, There oozed a flow of smutty jests unfit For even hell to hear, and verbiage scarred With obscene oaths and outragings of God; And all the while attempted laughter which But ultimates in grimace fierce and lewd; And eyes which bulge beyond the forehead, full Of lust obscene, the very dregs of sin. And staring, viper-glanced watch every way To spy out deep abandonment of lust: And tongue which, like a poisonous serpent's fangs. Whips in and out between the horrid lips: And arms, long, knotted, spotted like a serpent's skin, And reaching to the ground, where smut hands trail
Their long and sticky fingers on the earth, And like a cataleptic's fingers, twist 58
And dance and grip in drunken frenzy fierce And dig like sheers into the ground, and mush The soil to mire in wirey fingering Of fingers upon palm, so that the mire Is streaked with blood. And legs, long, wrinkled, lean, Like zigzag lightning, horrid slants of fire Which fling off sparkles sulphur-stenched and blear. And feet which have no shape, but suck the ground Like horrid tentacle of octopus. And seem to breathe against the dirt and suck The poison from the dirt and then exhale Mephitic gases like a geyser's crust: And voice which stays not, night or day, through years, But bays like drunken hounds in quest of blood — Him I accost with cheek and lip as white As arctic snow, and stuttered forth a call, "And what art thou, O Horror mutilate?" Whereat the monstrous shameless shamelessness Howled like a hound-pack wild, "My name is Sin!"
When April Heals Wild Winter's Scars THE saps are climbing toward the cloud; The bluebird's call is on the wind: Soon will the world be laurel-browed, And laughing children wild flowers find. The whirling planet springs to birth; The dumb-earth flames to mirth of stars: There is a prophecy in earth When April heals wild winter's scars.
God's Symphony ' I 'riE fitful winds are moaning, A And chant their song of pain. The shoreward waves, intoning. Crash fierce and wild disdain. The sea-tanged winds are misting With fogs flung from the sea. The night and day are trysting: It is God's symphony.
Thou Art My Lord THOU art my Lord. I beat retreat From all the purposes I knew; I leave my triumphs for defeat At Thy command, the Safe and True. Thou art my Lord. My grip on life Was strong as strength, but Thee defied;
And then I heard Thee through the strife. The King of life. Love crucified. Thou art my Lord. Thou art my sky: Thou art my Sea with drift of wave. To Thee my swift devotions fly, Who art the Called to bless and save. Thou art my Lord. Where'er my years Shall bring my swift far-going feet, Thou shalt be there to balm my fears. And make eternity complete.
When Love Is Gone K OW not if the skies be bright. or if the seas be gray. I only know hfe is not hfe When love is gone away.
Good- ight T'HE day is done; and in the morning's east 1 The shadows lie, dim dreams of night. The time is past for labor; and, released, Like galley slaves let loose in fight On seas that rock with battle shock, spent strength Turns face and step with love, homeward at
length. The night has come; and with the evening star Day's pain drifts back like ebbing tide; And blessed moonlight ripples o'er the bar Of twilight. Then Love, glorified. Our God's good angel, sings, voice sweet and deep; And with the ebbing music cometh sleep.
The orth Wind SET thy rude lips to the Hps of this flute: Try thy crude strength, with dull absence of form: Blow thy wild summons and forests uproot: Bring the bleak winter and breath of thy storm.
The Heart-cry I EED Thee, O my Master, * As the sunrise needs the sky. Life's perils follow faster Than the stormy petrels fly. I need the wide, calm keeping Of the Peace which calms the night And sets the sea a-sleeping And the distant stars a-light.
Bereft npHERE were three in the nest, •I And the mother-bird, too, With the warmth of her breast And her mother-love true. And the storm smote the tree With its bHnd, angry fist; And then there were three, With the mother-bird missed. And three birds in the storm And the drench of the rain. or a mother-breast warm. But a motherless pain. Then a nest and brown leaf Where three birds had been glad, A poor nestling of grief, And the sunlight grown sad.
Beside the Sea * BESIDE the sea, which moaned and took Autumnal tunes and crooned them o'er, I walked and heard the songs which shook With loneliness for evermore. I walked the shore at rise of sun, When day was new, untired his feet:
I walked the shore when day was done: All whiles the sea did grief repeat. The sea, at calm or wild unrest, By moonlight or by sunlight sweet, By gentleness or storm possessed. Hymns songs with wrecks and tears replete.
The Soul ' I ^ilE soul is not like harp of gold, A That waits the touch of dreamer's hands To wake its music, sweet and old. As memories brought from distant lands: The soul is like a warrior brave, Who sights the foe, and fears him not; Who laughs at death and scorns the grave. And shouts, "I have with heroes fought."
Blow, Wind of God LOW on me, Wind of God, Blow wild and strong and free. I need the Heavenly Breath
To blow earth-care from me. The landscape of my life Hath little sun or rain: It hath this dull earth-dust, This dull earth-grime and gain. Blow on me. Wind Remote, Whose home is in God's heart. Thy strange far-goings come. And balm and bloom impart. AU-tempestless, but swift. The Wind of Heaven blows free,The blessed Breath of God From out eternity.
My Torch S one who walks through solemn woods at night. When every star is blotted out with cloud And storm winds moan with rising passion loud, Holds high above his head a torch to light The path he takes, not knowing how to fight Intrusive blackness back except endowed With radiance from his high-held torch else bowed In darkness and defeat his manly might, — So I, above the grave of my sweet dead, Hold high this torch of God, to light the gloom And pour in sunshine while, with praising breath,
I track the footsteps of my loved one fled To God's dear land and fair beyond the tomb: And this my torch, "There shall be no more death!"
Afterwhiles OUR hearts are rained upon by tears: Our hearts are shined upon by smiles Our hearts are crucified by fears. But have their Easter-Afterwhiles. 68
Haste, My Hand! (Venerable Bede, while dying, urged sweaty haste to complete his translation of the Gospel of St. John, and is conceived as thus apostrophizing his dying hand, bidding it ''Haste, all haste.") QUICK, be no laggard, hand, Thou hast imperious work. Death with his sword takes stand Beside me. ay, to shirk This for a crown of joy Of Hfe would be a crime. Risk! thy last strength employ: Complete thy task for time. Ah, art thou faint like wing Of wounded bird? o more. Hand which was strong, shalt sing Or even write a score Which, such as come some day Shall read and lift a song. Stiff art thou, hand? Dismay
Shall seize thee fierce and strong. 69
But, pray thee, sing aloud: Thou hast translated this Book of the Christ. A shroud Can harm thee not, but kiss. Wrist and fingers cold As branch on frozen bough? Thou canst not whine nor scold. But lift high praises, thou. Hand, thou hast writ the word. The last strong word and sweet. Christ's Iliad hath stirred The world. Life is complete.
The Grapes Which Grew on TTiorny Stems * I 'UAMP out thy grapes with naked feet, 1 Thy grapes which grew on thorny stems: Tramp thorns and grapes and make complete Life's stormy nows and cloudless thens.
A Son of the Vikings, I
SO of the Vikings, I Who rollicked on the wave, Whose home was the sea and sky, And had the sea for a grave. A son of those men who clung To sea-wrecks manifold, A son of those men who swung On sea- waves icy cold. A son of those sailors lost, Whoknew the sea was wide. And loved the dim wrecks that tost But had the sea defied. A son of those wastes and nights Where wave and wind grew bleak. The son of a thousand fights. Which whitened not their cheek. A son of those fearless men, I must not frightened grow. But with the wild strength of ten Must rush where dangers go. 71
And then thou shalt come to wreck? But what is that to me, Age-long on the vessel's deck. And sired by man and sea?
An Arrow arrow am I, Shot swift from the bow Of God. So, far must I fly. And straight must I go To God.
Desert Goldenrod E EATH a sky immeasurably blue, Where barren sun-drenched wastes give back the light And desert owns the valley and the height, A desert goldenrod exultant grew. Upon its ardent fires no drop of dew Had ever dripped, nor ever any night Had come to lend it shadow or affright; But all its lifeblood from the day it drew. A grouped splendor like a central sun, A rank, exultant clamor of strange flame, A yellow fire like desert tawn at bloom, A gaudy emblem of wild triumph won, A subtle glory for the which no name, — A rapture of the desert fire and doom.
Uphill 'ROM out the vast abyss. Where tortures writhe and hiss, I amply, with His rod. Make upward toil to God. The swirl, the murk, the pain That have but loss, not gain. The while they crush and smite And slay with rancorous might, Them I defy. Half mine The might, and half divine, I urge successful war And slay what I abhor. My way is toward the shining hill Where laughters climb and surely fill The height. My march is unto Him Whose glory blinds the cherubim. He is my goal. In Him my praise Takes wings and sings through deathless days. The Everlasting God, His name. Through ageless ages, aye, the same. 74
Vast murk is here: no murk is there, But endless morning sweet and fair. Here labor tires: there labor rests Where God His glory manifests. So ever unto Him I come Where triumph solemn trump and drum. My way is to the heart of Him Whose glory smites the daylight dim.
The Hills of God THE earthly hills, I love them well : They tales of mountain meadows tell. And hidden streams that sing their way To greening meadows far away. But Hills of God, they fill my soul With music, like the thunder's roll. They challenge my uneager eyes And school them to divine surprise.
The Wind of God THERE blew across the earth, one night, A wind unknown on earth before. It was as warm as summer light. And sang on ocean and on shore. The winds with which men are acquaint Blow east or west or south or north. They level blowj or strong or faint. Or gelid-breathed or summer-swarth. This wind blew downward from the skies As starlight falls through wastes of space; Blew sweet and strong in high surprise. Blew very heaven into the face. Upon this wind of paradise Came wafted strife of angel's wings; Came all-subdued and chaste repHes, Came liquid notes an angel sings. This wind of God straight downward blew:
From God in heaven the wind was sent. It held the starlight and the dew And calmed my heart to rare content. 76
Too Late E came when all the lists were filled. And sought a place on honor's field; In vain were helmet, spear, and shield, Or arm that was for tourney skilled.
Who comes too late comes but in vain; All knightly skill is nothing worth: His plenty is as desert dearth; A moment had been deathless gain.
The Music of Running Water THE river waters silver on, or pause to watch the river's brim; But, at the dusk as at the dawn, They chastely sing their silver hymn. In autumn, when the fall flowers burn Untended fires along the shore, —
"Say, river, soon their flame shall turn And thou shalt note their glow no more. **I pray you, river waters, wait! ow stand you still a moment's space And woo this splendor profligate. This bloom of a whole summer's grace." But, nothing loath, they are to pass: To flower or me they give no heed, Although the bending skies they glass And take shy glances at the mead. By night, by noon, past sun, past star. They lift the mellowest wonder voice That ever spilt its note and bar To make the listening heart rejoice. 78
"Sweet river voices, ye might sing A sweeter carol to the sky; But if ye did, with broken wing, 'T would be a swan song but to die. " o, river, sing no sweeter lay; I can not dream out how ye could. Your music moves me, as it may, And bends me, as the winds the wood. "I, weary, rest me with your voice And know not any charm more deep. Your mellow music says, * Rejoice! For in one song we laugh and weep. *We know one song to soothe the heart. We fill it full of smiles and tears; We meet a moment, then we part:
We meet again for endless years."
A Hymn at Christmas T night-time, when the Lord Christ came. And all the midnight skies were dim. Then suddenly there sprang a flame When Bethlehem skies sent down a hymn.
At night-time, when the Christ was born, And silence closed earth's eyes for sleep. Then suddenly, like glorious morn, A song arose, sky-wide, sky-deep. There is no night when Christ is born, or any silence free from song. or any human heart forlorn; But all is joy the ages long. We lift our hymn on Christmas day, We bid our hearts their joy bells ring; We teach our hearts to love and pray And all their holy raptures sing.
My Rosary O tell my beads toward the cross; But, when the cross I see. It blinds me with its storm and loss, And from that loss I flee.
It is toward the cross I walk— My goings lead but there; But its so cruel losses balk My purpose with despair. ow, soon my purpose firmer grows; I climb the ragged hill. I feel the thorns, nor see the rose. But climb, undaunted, still. I tell my beads toward His cross: His cross I catch and kiss. I find a treasure in my loss; I must not Calvary miss.
npHEY knew not where he had dwelt, -■• They knew not where he died; But all the deep things men had felt This dreamer had descried.
Toward Manhood CO my weary lesson o'er and o'er, And though I oft repeat, I oft forget; And like a peevish child, my cheeks are wet With futile tears, the while I try once more And fumble with my slight access of lore And sternly say, "I shall be learned yet," And vainly strive to calm my tire and fret— A peevish child at fret upon the floor. And shall I ever grasp the truth serene. And bloom to knowledge with a perfect flower. Or shall I fume and weep and stay a child. ^^ Strange Master of the things sublime, unseen. And Prince of all the realm of unknown power. Stay Thou, my Teacher patient, just, and mild.
Unlonely Loneliness ALTHOUGH I wander on the lonely hills •*»' Afar from men, I am not lonely. I Hold swift and sweet companionship which fills My soul with splendor like the spacious sky. Although I wander over prairies wide. Where blow the winds for which my lips have song, I have a kindlier Presence at my side, A surer fellowship than any throng. Although I wander by the witless sea.
Where angers ride tyrannical and strong, There speaketh with me Peace; and Purity Upturns a shining face and lifts a song. Although I trespass where the drunken moods Of ribald jest and the salacious song Inveigh against all virtue, and obtrudes Shame like an iceberg cruel, bleak and strong, I wander there as though I trod the street Where shining-garmented the angels walk With glowing, golden sandals on their feet. And commune hold in holy, heavenly talk. 83
What odds to me where I am called to go? What trepidations can my pulses stir While through my life the sacred raptures flow? Thy right hand holds me: I, in naught, demur. Sea Sonnets I. The Graveyard Sea, HERE lie my forebear in thy gusty flood: Thy wash of waves hath scorned their seaman breath : Thy crush of shipwreck hath assured their death : Thy wind-blown garments are all dyed in blood. Thou ruthless Scorn, thou mangling Might, bestud Thy scutcheon with clutched hands, pale face, which saith, "The sea hath had its harvest, — pallid Death;" And roll thou on, wreck-strewn sea-ruth at flood.
sea, who art the graveyard of my lost, 1 must not murmur overmuch nor call With tragic cry because thou art to me The churned, vast open where my wrecks are tost, And all my summer leaves must saddened fall ! Thou art that majesty God names "The Sea." 84
II. The Prevailing Sea, O Sea, that murmurest at the break of day And slumberest at noon, and at the night When babes and birds are fast asleep, with fright Awakenest and in remotest bay With immemorial thirst to foil and slay, In booming passion stormest, and in bright Fair noon dost toss sea bubbles, men in plight Forlorn, nor carest since it is thy way — Thou Sea that lavest all the windy shores And bearest on thy briny bosom ships Deep-freighted, swift of sandal and of sails, Which with no toiling, sweaty ply of oars Sail on to havens where the music drips From prow and sail. o more! The Sea prevails. III. The Surcease of the Sea. When from mine own familiar heartache I Have wrung the blood nor found the anguish hushed. But ever found, at end, new anguish rushed; And in no measure could my wild pain die, 85
I yet perceived that mine and I must ply
Our stormy sea-trade still, or pale or flushed, With languor spent or angry sea- wave crushed. Sea was august, triumphal as the sky. Thou strange and strong and ever- wandering sea. In whose hale hands world commerce still is kept, And whose exultant billows bear the health Of age on age, — the loss of mine and me Is but a minor pathos. We have wept. But thou, sea-azure, art this wide world's wealth.
A Quatrain V/E saide that, an I loved ye well, A Ye wold my sweetheart be: And now this same swete love I tell: And, sweetheart, love ye lae?
The Ford ' I 'HERE is a ford across the stream of death * Which a scant few of earth's serener souls Had found and made the crossing safe; the tolls Escaped which death had taken — the forced breath, The ice-dewed brow, the thought that wandereth; The stern dismay, the which across men rolls What time old and penurious death out-doles. With shivering fingers, one more gasping breath. Then One came down elate who knew the stream And all its heartache and its moaning loss.
And, singing, onward walked, without dismay, Man's road from start to crossing; and, supreme. He found the ford and marked it with His Cross So none might miss the ford thenceforth alway.
The Wistful Years 1 HE years, the wistful years. The years I journeyed toward, but never met, The dim, elusive years. Filled full of striving and of all regret. The years, the stalwart years. Where all my manhood marched and matched its might. The years of impulse fierce. Where life stormed wild and won the fearful fight. The years, the sorrowing years, Which yielded empty chairs and lonely graves. The years, the crushing years. Where Time's storm-ocean smote with iron waves. The years, the blessed years. In which Love had its joy and Faith its God, Magnificent and true. And where I tramped the ways by Jesus trod. The years, the holy years. Where shone the stars and sprang the dawns, and there Through glorious golden years The courage gained to journey anywhere. 88
O years behind, sweet years, I love your every foot-path on the sod: O years ahead, strange years, My feet laugh out toward you, full of God.
F day had never a dusk. And a rose had never its musk. The world had lost wonder. If hearts had never known love. And below had not an above. Then hope had broken asunder.
When All My Life is Gathered in a Sheaf "YY THE all my life is gathered in a sheaf VV Of ripened grain and bound with band of gold, And all my days of growing manifold Are vanished, vanished utterly, no brief, Bright day of Spring with bird-song free from grief. o harvest-passion day, in all, controlled By lust of bread for many men enrolled As *'Hungerers — " All done, all autumn leaf! When that day comes and my one sheaf of grain Is holden on the breast of angel strong,
And he looks down upon it, may it be ot altogether pitiful and vain. But something worthy of the harvest song, — A golden glory for eternity.
Slain 'THERE is haze on the distant hills, •■■ The purple of Autumn-tide; There is never a bird that trills: The music of Spring has died. There 's a hush in the beat of the heart That pounds like battle drums, When the riot of wild flowers start. And snows are on the plums. And the racer, God calls the Year Is nigh to die of pain; And his breath is a gasp of fear: His sob is like the rain. And he leaps like a sword from sheath On a last wild bound toward goal. And lies dead with a blood-red wreath Clutched fast, while sky bells toll. And he lieth stone dead on his face. or a muscle trembleth; And spring hath relinquished her grace — The year hath espoused death. 91
Dear Heart THE dews stay wet upon thy lips Through all the summer day; The merry morning hath its quips With thee, Sweet Heart, alway.
HEY glibly said he died, And on the monument had writ the story: This, history denied; For he had battled for his country's glory.
The Clouds E o'er me float With languorous rest, So strange, remote And full of quest. So full of all The dim content. Which drives my thrall
To banishment. o surly dust Of roadway grime. o clamorous lust Of Traffic's prime Float where ye float In idleness. or lift a note Of strife or stress. Yea, drift for aye. Ye lofty clouds. And calm my sky When danger crowds. Drift, strangely drift And rain through years, Your respite swift Upon my fears. 93
The Hill of Loss THIS is the Hill of Loss, The yellow, desert Hill, Where grows no jeweled moss or murmurs any rill. This is the Hill of Loss, The gaunt and wintry crest, Where wild winds moan and toss And never soul is blest. This is that Hill whose name Is burnt on many breasts:
This is that Hill whose fame Is writ in wild unrests. This is the Hill of Loss, Whose only bread is Pain, Where climbs the bitter cross And falls the sullen rain. This is the Hill of Loss, Whose only drink is Tears, Whose shield, sad souls emboss With this one legend, "Fears."
This is the Hill of Gain, Which is the Hill of Loss, Where Love erases Pain And stands the Holy Cross.
Unfaith FAR off I heard the ocean shock As if the sky had fallen prone; And then I felt the whole world rock: And then I heard the whole world moan. But on the morrow skies were blue And all the ways were sweet with song: To every heart a bluebird flew; And thus I learned unfaith was wrong.
On the Stair STUMBLE on the stair Which I well-nigh had climbed. High up where light was fair And silvery voices chimed. I stumbled on the gold Last top-stair when the flight Was conquered; and I scrolled, "Elate, I stand in light." I crumpled in a heap On first stair where I first Began, with heart at leap. To climb because I durst. Once more I climb the stair: The sky is in my heart: The stair-top is so fair; For there the swallows dart.
To Bring to Morn the Day for Which Earth Yearned
H, ruth is on me and the skies are red, Dyed bitter crimson by Hfe's ruthless woe Which hath been on us from the long ago; And of its fury have wild words been said By bruised, bleeding, lips, now mute and dead, The ceaseless passion is at tireless flow. While sentinels of years pace to and fro. Which leave blood footprints where they wandered. And so I lift my cry, "Yea, all is ruth;" But witless words they were and little worth: My rush of sudden tears had turned me blind; For what I found when I accosted truth Was that these pains were travail throes of birth To bring to morn the day for which earth yearned.
Enough Y needs are few : God gives them bread : My needs are numbered at a thought. I come to Thee and I am fed On sweeter bread than angels brought.
I feel so safe, so free, so strong When God is all my heart's desire, I mingle with the heavenly throng
And sit beside Thy kindled fire. I make my graves beneath Thy cross; For lilies there in winter grow. And wandering winds, flower petals toss Upon my loved ones lying low. With Thee my mortal way is bright With splendor which knows not eclipse; And every darkest day and night Hath God's sublime apocalypse. I can not take my way from Thee: There is no house where I may go. To God is all my fealty : To Him do my aspirings flow. 98
Swift as the clouds when strong winds blow, Swift as the stars that climb the skies, My betternesses to Thee grow To find in Thee their full emprise.
This, I Said
HISPER and have done: I must hear the wild bugles of life Blow wild for the run For the rush and the querulous strife.
Stutter and then cease: I have asked for a deluge of spears. Stammer and hold peace: I must crush through the rout through years.
I Lie Amidst Red Clover Blooms LIE amidst red clover blooms, And feel their passion fan my face. They rmi afar to meet the winds That blow from out the summer space. The wild bees drone and drink their fill Of wine the spring and earth have made. I drink the joy and passion fleet Of lying in red clover shade. They tilt their blooms to touch my face; They hnger as to kiss my lips; And on the languor of my soul The respite of red clover drips. Soul Loquitur I K OW, I know a thing, A cruel thing," Soul said, "I that am wandering, Shall wander with the dead."
"I know, I know a thing, A glorious thing," Soul cried. **I wandering shall sing Among the glorified." 100
Who Quireth ow Along the Hills WHO quireth now along the hills When autumn gathers dumb and gray Who morning unto evening fills His throat with song from day to day? Dead is the leaf, and dim the sky : The ways are whipped with withered leaves; The summer birds forsaken, fly: The fields are desolate of sheaves. Bluebird nor wren nor vireo Lilt swift and sweet along our ways: It seems a century ago Our trees were full of bird-sung praise. Who singeth clear, beyond the rim Of land and sky where sets the sun.f^ It must be God who starts the hymn, "When autumn glooms, then spring's begun."
The Harp That Once Was Mine ECAUSE I could not play deep harmonies Upon my harp, I, angry, broke its strings And left them hang in pleading silence mute. Dim hands of pain which caught at emptiness, And turned and left the wounded ecstasy To be a scoff to journey ers on that way. And hammered on my anvil in the smoke. Then came a man with starry wonder-eyes And vagrant steps which wandered here and there In search of what the many cared not for, Who found my vanquished harp, ashamed and mute, A tatter of what used to be a song. There tarried he and sat him as for rest, But fondly took the harp disconsolate And caught its sadly marred and broken strings. And gently knotted them with serious care Until they drifted like a slant of rain Once more, and fit for rainy minstrelsy. Then those frayed strings he swept with wistful hands ; And all the pain they knew and tears, they told, Until the road was thick with folk who stood All sobs, the while the star-eyed minstrel played; 102
And I forsook my anvil with a cry, "What harp of glory wakes these notes divine?" When, lo! I stood and saw the harp was mine, The dull discarded thing I broke and scorned Because it did not wake deep harmonies. "Is this harp thine?" the dreamful harper said,
" ay, thine," I sobbed, "The harp I had is dead."
Beside a Brook A POET lay beside a brook And scrolled his lines on oak leaf green. or on his lines again did look. Brief lived his lines, as leaf, I ween.
Who Lit Yon Star? THE dusk was there. But now, a light. The twilight bar. The violet stair; ow, star and night.
Sonnet unimaginable hope the year Wades through its drift of windy autumn leaves Into the deeper drift of snow, nor grieves That clustered grapes and tassled corn appear o longer on the harvest plain to cheer The eyes and give the heart a song, nor weaves The spider's web across the path. All eves Look wistfully on morrows without fear. The year hath courage, like a sturdy knight,
To face the wildest storm of winter days And sing all whiles, like springtime birds at wing. Because the cruel winter makes strong flight, With sleepless strivings through all nights and days. Toward the bloom and minstrelsy of spring.
A Man I Knew E linked his life to better things: He climbed the holy hills of God; He gave to the discouraged wings And left a path by angels trod. 104
The Tiger Flower MARK me well where grows the flower From which men press their poppy drink With its immitigable dower To school the thought to strangely think. I mark me well where grows the weed Which brews a drink to drug the soul, To make the pith of being bleed And blot with blood-red tears life's scroll. I mark the place and mark the plant:
I know the sorry story through — How love goes blind and manhood scant — And yet the cursed drink I brew. It is not ignorance but lust Which churns my blood to tropic wrath Till life is like a thunder gust Which hath a shameless aftermath.
A Lullaby H, hush, babe, hush! The gold-throat thrush Hath stilled his song. The gloom and star. The near and far, Grow hushed, and throng With purple calm And perfumed balm The gentle night. Thy mother's love Smiles sweet above. Like angel bright. Sleep sweet and smile The happy while The love untold With mother arm,
And love, and charm Do thee enfold. O lullaby! The earth and sky Fall fast asleep. 106
O lullaby! Thy mother's why Thou needst not weep. For thy wee form ight hath no storm. But blur of wings Which comfort brings, And lullaby. "O lullaby," Thy mother sings So witchingly Like strife of wings, O lullaby, O lullaby! O lullaby! A mother's sigh, A mother's kiss Thou shalt not miss. O lullaby! But mothers die? What then, ah, then? God lives. Amen. O lullaby. Sweet lullaby! 107
The Building of the Hut
UILD thee a hut, my soul, or fret because the walls Are built of clay. o scroll Of Gothic type, nor halls Of stately length and height Are thine. Thou lackest art And wealth, thou lackest light. Thy day too brief for heart To throb for long and build Immortal monument This side these stars or gild A dawn. "He came and went,' Is what the scribe will say When he who built the hut Hath silent passed away. "His wagon wore this rut In bringing clay for this. His humble house — just space To pray and serve, and kiss His best beloved's face 108
Good-bye." Fret not nor scowl At this, like some dull monk
Who mumbles under cowl As home he stumbles, drunk. Thy wit, my soul, was this That thou didst frame no roof Lest thou shouldst thereby miss Some dawn or star, a proof Of God. The light was thine; And thou didst ceil thy clay Abode with space — the sign That thou shouldst live alway, Thy sign, that time was not Thy Lord, nor earth thy throne, But thy poor garden plot. Vast soul, make thou no moan: Thy roofless house of clay Preaches thy faith, that here — A flitting moment's stay. But there — immortal cheer.
Harvestless THE plot of earth God gave to me to till, I tilled it not; but let the morning pass While dewy beauty kindled on the grass Its thousand lamps of wondrous flame, to fill The soul with ecstasy. I heard the trill Of birds at dawn. I heard, but yet, alas! I heeded not. The clouds of dawning glass Their new-lit glory from the lake and rill, —
All this swift like a vision passed; but I or plowed nor sowed. The brown earth knew no toil Of mine. The while fair day swept by, the soil That yearned for sowing yearned in vain. Gone God's hour. o sheaf of gold is mine. The sky Burns red with sunset. Harvestless I die.
Wild Clematis HE wild vine clambers at its will. And sprays the rock with foam of flower. It hath at heart to take its fill Of sky and sunshine and of shower. 110
My God, to Thee Y God, with whom my being chimes In whom I find my deep dehght. In whom are all my summer climes, My sunny day and slumbrous night.
My God, to whom my spirit turns As sunflowers to the dawning east.
For whom my shoreless nature yearns. And where is ever Love at Feast, My God, by Thee I climb from woe, By Thee ascend the endless stair. With Thee across the ages go, With Thee, have solace everywhere.
Spring Cometh SWEET Spring, I hear your bluebirds sing. And your quaint marsh frogs sounding, And soon your first wild flowers will spring. Heart, how thy pulse is bounding!
She Wore a Kertle Willow-green SHE wore a kertle willow-green; Her eyes were cornflower blue: Perpetual youth was in her mien: Her hair was pearled with dew. About her waist she wore a zone Of daisies pied and sweet; And in her voice there sang a tone Like swift wind through the wheat. In her left hand she held a spray Of iris from the brook; And in her eyes there was a way The shining angels look.
Her hair was golden — stubble gold, Wound round, and flashed and burned; Her words were like to love new-told, And sang and sobbed and yearned. She ran as swift as summer rain Across a quiet stream, or looked she ever back again. And vanished in a gleam. in
I called, and called, with no reply; But round the swallows wing And weave aerial cobwebs high. — Bethink thee, heart, 't was spring !
Fain Would I Listen in the Hush of Bells T'AI would I listen in the hush of bells, Late swung by sinewy unseen human hands In steeple tall which overlooks the lands Where harvests grow and where the daylight tells The scene good-night. o longer worship swells From throat on throat of bells whose song expands, And holy convocation blest commands And riot in our warring souls dispels. In wake of holy hush of bells, I fain Would falter humbly nearer to the skies, Would hush my heart beneath the falling dew Of mercy redolent of God. My bane Of bitter loss is this — I do not rise. And with the hush of bells strength girds anew.
Moriturus Saluto TAKE thy thumbs from mine eyes. Pale Death; Give me sight anywise And breath.
Gouge me not with thy thumbs, Pale Death; Spare me fright which benumbs. Sweet Death.
The Wistful Days 1 HE leaves fall wistfully As, loath alike to stay or go. They all are kist fully By autumn winds that sea-like flow. The sky with mist fully Is clouded like a weary look. Grief hath its tryst fully With tears in this autumnal nook.
I. At ight. TTIAT night, the while Judea slept, A As Jesus lay in borrowed grave, And His disciples, waking, wept For Him they dreamed was born to save. The world was like a stream run dry. Its snow-drifts in far mountains spent; And hfe*s poor hope was but to die With battle bow for battle bent. With unspent shafts in quiver hung. With powers yet scarce begun to wake, With strength all new and bow all strung, Life in the grave its place must take. II. At Morn, When up the east the glory swept. And from the grave the Lord Christ sprang. Dead hope, that like a sluggard slept, Leaped from the earth! The blue heavens rang 115
With exultation loud and long! Great expectation from the dead Awoke, and, with triumphant song, The radiant way from Calvary led. Christ's Easter hath this message sent: "Life's quiver is with arrows filled:
For endless years the bow is bent; And life with deathless hope is thrilled."
Morning on Eastward Mountains T"TIE rocks are rimmed with fire: •*• The grass is rimmed with dew: The wild-birds are at choir; The sky, far up, is blue.
December- June T is December In my years. But June time in my heart. I scarce remember Any fears: My wild June roses start! 116
I Love Thy Cross 'HOU God who liftest up my head, I praise Thee with my singing breath, Thou Christ arisen from the dead And Conqueror of Hfe and death.
I love Thy name, I love Thy cross,
Unto my heart they are most fair; And near them there can be no loss; For heaven with them is anywhere. Christ and His cross make midnight day, And cause the bruised heart to sing; Christ and His cross drive sin away. And constant, glorious triumph bring. So, near unto this cross divine. Stay thou, my heart, and stay alway; For, know its holy light will shine While glows the dawn of endless day.
Beset AM stung by the scorpion's bite; I am whipped with a branch of thorns; I am caught where the serpents fight; I am tossed by the wild beast's horns; I am lashed to a floating spar That churns where the seas are wroth; I am snared where the maniacs are, And am white with the serpent's froth; I am hung from the cliff by a thread, Where I swing like a pendulum;
I am counted among, the dead, And the friends whom I love are dumb. I have tasted the brine of death; I have drained its mad cup clean dry: I have climbed death's wild heights when breath Was reduced to a tear and sigh. And I dream that I shall not die. Who have lived through such harms as these: I am sure I shall conquer the sky And shall shun this earth's obsequies. 118
0-MORROW I shall die. I feel the coming of my brave Hereafter. I shall fly On wings of morning. Death's dim wave Affrights me not at aH; I schooled me at the school of Christ. And when in death I fall, I answer to a holy tryst.
The Sea in Sleep 1HAD slept by the sea with its spray on my face; I had heard, in my dreams, the discourse of its
waves; I had felt, though asleep, the far reach of its space. And had sobbed with wild grief at the sight of its graves.
A Hymn o( Serving Y Christ, I own Thee King Of this, my little life; Thy consolation bring. And quiet all my strife. Give me Thy peace within, Thy deep, sweet peace of love: Let me God's life begin. To finish it above. I urge my quest to God, Him wholly would I know; The path the Savior trod, I would with gladness go. And find His labor sweet, Increasing sweet His Word; To find my joy complete When I for service gird. The helpful hand I crave. The eager, loving heart. To bless, to help, to save
Ere I from life depart. Haste Thou my lagging feet; Speak sternly. Heavenly Dove. Make Thou my life replete With faith, with work, with love. 120
o ight Is There 1 >l0 night is there! Though night is here whose darkness fills The hollows of Life's rugged hills, o night is there! o night is there! Here, shadows stand thick-ranked as men When bugle calls to war; but, then, o shadows there! o night is there! o dark hours filled with tears and pain As pools are filled with Autumn rain; o night is there! o night is there! Along Heaven's sky, forever fair, Floats deathless morning, free from care, — o night is there! o night is there ! Then, heart, though sorrowing, grow strong; These glooms are deep, but last not long, — o night is there! 121
Forgive Me, Lord FORGIVE me, Lord, if I have sought to know The silent paths — those sunny, blessed ways Where morning shineth through all light of days, ^ And never wintry winds are known to blow; Where all the year the quiet violets grow. And all the trees and birds lilt silver lays Wild clamoring, and the hymn they sing is, "Praise!" And where the streams of peace, meandering, flow. I thought not widely on Thy wider things: I caught out wildly at the lesser good. What time I thought to ease me of the strife Strong men had borne who greatly swept the strings Of that stern melody which, understood, Becomes the music that the Lord names life.
I Care ot CARE not if the way be hard, or if the way be long; or if my tool be plow or shard So be I lift a song. This thing I value in my heart, Undubious and bright, — To be of all things good a part. And love and throne the right. or where I fall along the route.
How far or near the goal, But that my courage brought about ew freedom for the soul.
He Loved the Dusk
[E loved the dusk. When day was lost Amongst the shadows of the hills. And drowsy musk Of night had tost Its witchery upon men's wills, And all the light Went wistful sad, He, lured by calling shadows, came To where the flight Of bat-wing had A summons, calling him by name. He felt their dream Upon his soul. And lingered where the night and day Had blent their stream From pole to pole, Which, like a song, lured him away. He loved the dusk. Its shadows leaned Their gentle cheek against his face. He smelt the musk Of twilight, gleaned From day-time's, night-time's blended grace.
In that far land To which, one night, His spirit passed, to dwell with those Who always stand In dreamful light, I pray he walks in wide repose. I pray that there Day-dusk is lent For such as he to wander through, Serene and fair, — Where God hath blent Fair starlight with the evening dew.
A Work Song K OW the fight severe, The shock of battle great; But I have Christ forever near, To help me soon and late. I have a business here In this great world, and fair: It I pursue with holy cheer. Alert to do my share. So long as I may be A helper to the earth, So long as I may work with Thee,
My work shall be my mirth. ot one complaint I bring Of toil or peril dark. But at my work, exulting, sing. Like high priest at God's ark.
TTie Sparrow ASE-BOR am I, and brown as dust. And free from every high desire. And satisfied with roadway crust And warmth that knows not any fire. Base-born am I; and so I stay The darhng of the dust and mire. or care I aught in any way To join the song of any choir. Base-born am I as sparrows are; And yet, I pray, I break the ban And fly into the glory far And live and breathe and stay a man.
When Spring Comes Home \^ HE spring comes home From her long pilgrimage, Unwearied and unmarked by age, When spring comes home! How wild with glee The laughing children and the flowers And singing birds and golden hours And streams will be. When spring comes home! How the dull bank Shall wake, to smile with violets, Forgetting winter's sad regrets. And joys, to thank Sweet spring, come home! And down long hills There babble, like a happy child, And swirl and leap, with springtime wild, * The crystal rills. When spring comes home! 128
When spring comes home! How passing sweet it is to know Our spirits, like God's violets, grow. When spring comes home! And spring comes home! When Life's long winter faints and dies. There dawns upon our watching eyes Heaven's spring, come home.
A Prayer TTIUMPET Thy call at morn. My slumbers * break, My dreams dispel, and bid my opening eyes to see What lieth near my hands for doing. Free Me from my lethargy and blindness; wake My conscience that it sleep no more, nor shake, A craven, when the danger shocks. Decree Some service, arduous and harsh, and me Enstrengthen, that my task I undertake. And then, through all the weary, vexing day, Give Thou me patience that, with simple trust, I hold to God, my Consolation and Reward, and learn to labor while I pray. And make of life a psalm as goodness must, — And thus my day to leave in God's good hand.
Violets V/E tatters torn from windy skies, •■• Ye violets wet with starry dews; Ye flowers of chaste yet strange surprise, As wasteless as the widow's cruse. I know the flowers of earth full well : I love them one, I love them all; And can their sweet enchantments tell; I can their haunting musks recall.
The flowers which from the earliest spring Unto the later fall bloom out, I as unto dear memories cling, or one forget nor one would flout. But, Violet, I love thee best. Thou dear, "dim" flower friend Shakespeare saw, Which God hath chosen to invest With form and tint beyond a flaw.
I Saw the Christ Where Battle Shocked
SAW the Christ where battle shocked Its bloody way across the plain: I saw where wavering standards rocked. And, round them, mountains of the slain. I saw the Christ with forehead flushed. As if a day-dawn lit His face, What time He strode where battle rushed And heard the crush of battle mace. He wore no apathy of look: He showed no scorn of battling men. Of all that war is. He partook, —
Its power to shape the now to then. He strode amongst the wildest whirl. Where men fell fast as autumn leaves. He fought beside the fighting churl, At whose dull death no human grieves. He marked this unmarked man of strength, Who swung strong sword with rhythm of stroke. And called this long-hid man, at length, To manhood's meaning, and awoke 132
His sense of majesty, till now, When war beats wild drums as of yore, Christ binds blood-laurel round the brow Of man as man for evermore.
My Home 1 go to "prepare a place for you.
E told it me, the blessed Christ of God, The while Love's Paschal sobbed itself away And earth's dark night did melt into the gray Of that illustrious morning. I can plod Life's way in hopelessness no more. The rod Heaven holds will lead me, weary, to the day
Whose light pales not to evening, where we stray Like children spent with joy. ot now a clod. But prince and son for whom this dwelling rare Was fashioned. Winds like laughter stray. The streams Are golden with delight. The shades are peace And bloom with mercy. High God's hills and fair. My home! The beauty of a poet's dreams Pales, and must pale, before this sweet surcease. 133
O Lord of eed, for Thee I Grope! LEA Thou a little nearer, Lord: ^ I need Thy face beside my own. I need my will with Thine to chord, That I may catch the heavenly tone. I need Thy heart against my heart. Lest I should fret my force away With my unrest, nor take my part In shining in Thy brighter day. I need Thy calm. O give it me. Lord of the Rest, whereof men say That such as have it can not be Like restless seas which drift and sway. I need Thee in my deepest need, Where ache my fears and lifts my hope. **I need Thee," is my highest creed. O Lord of eed, for Thee I grope!
A Father's Grave GRAVE where prairie grasses sway And seldom fall asleep Through any golden summer day, And where no mourners weep; For there lies one who lives with God In unimagined rest. He is not here beneath this sod. But kinsman of the blest. So, swift the prairie winds sing by — The years as swiftly pass — And touch this kinsman of the sky That lies below the grass.
The Voices HERE'S to the night!" The cricket chired. "Here's to the day!" So wakes the bird. And by the song In rise of sun. And by the joy
When day is done, — Both by the voice Of day and night Praise Hfts to Thee, O Soul's Dehght.
Hope TO every morn there is a noon, With sun swung high and light divine; Where affluent glories burn and shine, And dawn and midday are in tune. If clouds dash black across the deep, And light is dim though noon be here. We lose not faith nor banish cheer. or let our hearts learn how to weep Because we know the sun rides far, Serene beyond our tempest's gloom; And sky-deeps are in wealth of bloom Of light and grace no storm can mar. So, Morning, know the oon is thine! Those tall steeps of the midday own To be thy heritage and throne, Whereon to sit by right divine.
I Work My Work
I. The Mediocre Holds Dialogue With Himself— Heartache, 1W0RK my work. The days arid years are cast Aside like leaves autumnal, which the frost Hath wearied of and thrown away and lost, or cares at all to recollect where last It was he held them in his hands. All's past! Meantime I work my work at bitter cost Or blithe as billows on a sea up-tost. But trivial as a child's wee boat and mast. I work my work. It seems so little worth. It shames me as the dregs do shame the wine. It grips me with a grip of cold despair. I dreamed to do such deeds of lordly girth. It shames me as the driftage shames the brine. Yet, stay! Howbeit, God may deem it fair. II. The Mediocre Speaks in Self-Appraisement, I work my work. I was not indolent — I tireless toiled who had but little grace Of thought or eloquence, nor wielded mace Of pondrous weight, whose fearful smitings went 138
Clean to the battle's heart and boldly blent Its martial melody to change the face Of vast events and, shouting, turn disgrace To glory, then to die in swift content. ot thus was I, but only sentinel To walk about the windy streets at night
And faithfully to keep wrong deeds at bay. or any citizen my name could tell Only, through me, the night-time had no fright: But in sweet sleep the city dwelt till day. III. The Mediocre Hath Heartsease, I will not therefore break my heart because My work hath scanty harvest; and a sheaf Comprises all my meager crop. My grief Shall wipe its bitterness away. The daws May not peck at my heart, nor with their claws Rejoice to disarray my brow of leaf Of scanty laurel wherewithal my Chief May think worth while to cheer me at life's pause. I work my work: God will not grind me down or shame me for the little strength I had, or make me laughing stock for souls of might; But in His kindness He will doubtless crown My meager gifts and deeds, and make me glad And set me shining like a star of night. 139
I Met Old Care Oomewhere I met Old Care, with seamed face, And hair Grown thin and gray; hands knotted; grace All-spent In voice and laughter; eyes as sad As blent Of sad sea mists and rain which had o hope Of sunlight and surcease on all The slope Of life, nor any robin call.
Old Care, With shoulders stooped and twitching lips. or prayer Upon them save, "Wrecked ships, wrecked ships." 140
^ "Wrecked ships," He ever mumbles, while a tear Slow drips On his lean fingers — lean with fear. Blue lips, From which, with dull reiterance, "Wrecked ships," Say all a soul's significance.
Old Care Met Christ
MET the Christ— At laughter on the road of Hfe, Exultant, strong — And with His cheer He banished strife And lifted song.
I saw Him meet Old Care, who with his fingers fumbled And grimace made With angry face, and ever mumbled, *' Ships, wrecked ships;" or upward looked nor ever smiled, But only scowled At every man who passed, or child. Him Jesus met. And brought a strange apocalypse Of peace to care And radiant smiling to the lips Of grim Old Care, Whereat his world became renewed. And, all his scowls Forgot, and angers, Old Care viewed 142
The smiling sky And gentle folk and radiant hills, And sang aloud, "Why, all this world wide peace distills!" And Jesus smiled, And kissed Old Care upon the face: And on it stays The quiet of redeeming grace. Sonnet A WOMA , leaning head upon her hands And weeping. " othing more?" Oh, cruel speech Which no apology can ever reach Or beckon back again. That woman stands
Our human woe incarnate; for the bands That bind our hearts together, each to each, Are sorrow- woven; and those salt-tears teach That griefs are unenumerate as the sands. A weeping woman! Yea, a breaking heart; Her fingers sealed upon a lock of hair And fond words from a dear one loved and lost. As those who, watching, see a cable 4)art That lets their ship go drift they know not where — She watches. All her hopes are tempest-tost. 143
'ROM sky to sky this swift wind blows Across a hundred leagues of grass. or any whence or whither knows, But only knows to blow and pass. From sky to sky — with wings so swift That dawning only is so free; With wings that idly fold to drift Like idle sails on idle sea. Sometimes it blows a ruthless gale, Wild, wicked, fierce to meet as death; A foe to make the brave grow pale. To clutch the throat and take the breath. Sometimes as mild as gentle light That wingeth from the quiet stars, A breath to touch to deep delight.
Which nothing wearies, nothing mars. A wind of fragrance born of flowers And green grass close against the earth. And wonderment of summer showers, — O Prairie Wind, thy name is mirth. 144
Thy home is earth, thy home is sky: Thy wings are given thee of them. Thou lovest both, nor knowest why; And thou to both art diadem. Bow down thy prairie grasses sweet: Drink from thy flowers dehrious dew; Tramp on them with rejoicing feet, Thou sweetest wind that ever blew!
October » •T^Y leaves are turning red like wine; 1 Thy plains are clad in sleepy haze; Thy far-seen hills are blue like brine; Thy leaf -fall sows the woodland ways. Thy voices moan like men in pain. Who, sleeping, moan yet in their dreams. Winds Hum a shadowy refrain, As dreamy sad as sunset's beams. Thy days are dear to me as death; And death is dear as sacred love. Our days are nothing but a breath — A twilight here, the day above. ^° 145
Lord, To Be Kept ERD, keep me from the wan and cold dismay Which evermore ensues with withering care, Unless it hap that wheresoe'er I fare Thyself dost share my journey all the way, And turn the barren darkness into day Which shines above the brightness of the flare Of clustered suns that unthought splendors wear And no eclipse may any wise dismay. With equal step, my Lord, make speed with me: With Thy celestial converse spring my thought To rainbow height and loveliness. Thy hand On mine, when weary pulse would slack its glee Of journey, shall exalt my life so naught, Shall swerve my going to Thy Better Land.
I Saw a Boat at Anchor on a Bay I SAW a boat at anchor on a bay With lantern swung at prow, whose glancing bright Flung o'er the shadowed wave a wavering light Which should not intermit till winged day Should put all lesser splendors to decay. Then rose the wind and wave and thought to fright The heedless lantern, shining through the night To guard a boat at toss in harbor-way. So swung the light through the untranquil gloom. So swung the light through midnight vigils wan. So swung the light to face the wandering wave While slept the sailors in the slumber-room. Content, at rest, and tranquil till the dawn. A little light hath power to bless and save.
Fearfulness Makes Estimate of Himself V/EA, I am like a man who sits •■• All day and sharpens sword With brow that leans and looks and knits Where little grace is poured. He watches not the stretch of sky. But grimly looketh down : He notes not where the wild birds fly, But weaves his sullen frown. From morn to night through days and days He sitteth by his gate And sharpens sword in many ways, But never is elate. His sword he sharpens years on years And never seeks the fight; But takes accounting of his fears And swears the day is night. He sits while battles march along, or marks their mighty tread: He sits while mighty issues throng: He might as well be dead. 148
He sits as listless as a sleep And sharpens sword away:
He sits while those about him weep And watch him growing gray. He stoops and mutters as he whets The sword he whets away Until he grasps a hilt, which frets Because there was no fray. He sits and whets, but hath no bladeHe whets the empty air; or all these years hath he dismayed A foeman anywhere. And Death comes by, along that way, With naked sword in hand. But would not lift his sword to slay This eflSgy of sand.
IT dawns at last, My morning, full of God, My strange, glad day. I plod o more. I east Mine eyes on high And feel the glory whence. Long time, my recompense Hath come. My sky,
Which oft hath gloomed Across my heart full black. Hath now no longer lack Of splendor. Doomed I seemed, and lost; But now my joy hath mirth; My morn has come. Its birth Hath melted frost From death and life. I carol where I wept: I waken where I slept. And cease from strife. 150
My Prairies Y prairies, how ye stretch afar, or ever faint or weary grow. From morning dawn to evening star Ye widely wander to and fro.
Ye are the vagabonds of earth, — The emerald majestic ride Of wind-blessed spaces, sown to dearth And fertile growing, side by side. My prairies, where the blithe flowers grow. Whipped every way by roaming winds That laugh to be beleaguered so
By glee that never respite finds. My prairies, where I had my birth, Where my sweet mother leaned to kiss Me first — where, at the last on earth. My rest-place shall be, when men miss Me from your windy spaces where I loved, through all these sun-drenched years. By day or night or dusk, to fare With heart that looked through smiles or tears. 151
My prairies, men shall come and pass, Exultant as the wild lark's song. And trample on your flowers and grass. or know than mine a love more strong. Ye had for me the very breath Of liberty — grass-tanged, so free It can not be undone by death. Ye mind me of eternity.
Friend, Rest Thee! V/EA, I will rest, but not to-day; A To-day is set apart to toil. My day of rest is far away : To-day I thrust with battle foil.
The rest that balms me with its breath Is ever near and still remote. To-day I make my fight with Death, And climb the sky where day-dawns float. To-day I clutch the hands of men All grimed and rough and labor-scarred. Their hands and mine must break open The surly gates by centuries barred. Of rest you spake? O genial word, I long for it with yearning wide; But it awhile must be deferred Until I join the glorified.
O Sea! 'O gray, so wild, so wide, so strange, so bleak, ' So swift with all the weapons of despair. So sowed with faces drowned and floating hair Spread all abroad, and empty hands and weak. Above thee lifts the azure sky and domed: Below thee builds the level of the world: Across thee are the foaming tempests hurled: Athwart thee have the gentle zephyrs roamed. Upon thy stretching sands the ships have shoaled. And far aloft the mystic clouds have curled, Like battle banners by the wind unfurled, And on all shores thy wander-waves have rolled. Thou glory palpitant, thou strength sublime, Thou bridge across the spaciousness of earth,
Thou rapture and thou passion strong as death, Thou art the ruthless majesty of time.
At ight THE leaf is at drip, For the night is at dew; And the owl has his quip With the dark sky of blue. And the whippoorwill calls To his mate on the nest; And the slumber-song falls On the babe at the breast. And the still of the night Can be heard in the soul. For sky-lamps are a-light And life's wounds are made whole.
I Plucked a Feather From an Eagle's Wing I PLUCKED a feather from an eagle's wing, And thought to write a song of epic might, Whose deep-toned music should men's dreams excite And plaudits — which, as seas, should swing In ever-widening billows, and should ring Like living laughter that should change the
night And silence into joy and grace and light. And make its gloom and solitudes to sing. I wrote — and no one read my epic through. And then I found a feather from a mourning dove, Dropped from its wing in flying through a wood, And wrote a psalm of pain and pity, true To life, and tender with a wasteless love: And weary hearts both read and understood.
or Reckoned on the Miracle of Spring T^E winter hath been weary, long, and cold: •I The snows have banked them deep in wood and lane: The north wind piped reiterant refrain Of loneliness and care, or carol bold: Bleak storms have reveled over hill and wold. How hardly shall the flowers bloom again. And pastures answer to the gentle rain. Which shall entice the sheep from winter's fold. 'T was thus I fretted in the wintry days. And made gray days yet grayer with my plaint or reckoned on the miracle of spring. Spring came, — a wash of balmy winds, a haze Of violet, a waft of perfume faint; And then — a bluebird, voice and wing!
ot Here AY, ye fond hearts that break with bitterness. Ye women needing solace in your stress, I tell ye, stay your weeping. His caress Shall balm ye lonely, in your loneliness. He is not here.
ay, nay, ye Marys and ye Magdalene, I show ye vision earth hath never seen. Wipe dry your eyes. Tears must not intervene. Ye shall break hearts with laughter soon, I ween. He is not here! He is arisen, heard ye what I said? He is not here, a-sleeping with the dead. To death He hath brought sunup and hath sped To shoreless light and glory hallowed. He is not here ! L'E VOI. Aye, now ye singing women, Ye heard me what I said. For lo, your eyes are smiling Which were with weeping red. He is not here! 158
The Poet's Thoughts *TTHEY come, he knows not whence: ■■■ They come, he knows not why. They come as comes a Providence Blown from the viewless sky. They go, he knows not where: They go, he knows not why. They wing the viewless air To hearts a-near to die.
When Doubts Arise THEY strive around me, voices in the dark — Uninterruptible and strange — and stenched By dull and lewd sulphurous flame unquenched From evening shadows to the morning lark. They strive and smite, blood-lustful like the shark That crimsons the blue sea with blood, winedrenched With juice of life on life, with hunger wrenched. So wrangle they. The voices whine and bark. I strive to bar my ears, and so bring peace: I strive to match their clamor with my voice: I strive with angers to out-anger them; And all is vain, and brings me no release. I then bethink me, and sing loud, ''Rejoice, I make my prayer!" and touch God's garment hem.
Life Dawdled with Me Smiling Many a Year
IFE dawdled with me smiling many a year, As if all time were tireless May and Jmie, Whose music never could be out of tune. And on whose safety could intrude no fear; And so we romped together swift with cheer. And I, wild-carolled at this riant boon
Wherewith in joy, sweet life had dowered me soon And left my life a sky high, blue, and clear. Then with a wild and rude celerity Life, scornful, seized on both my useless hands And crushed them into vigilance of pain. While my face wrinkled like a fretful sea, "What meanest thou? I bid thee loose my bands!" Whereat, — "By ruth, life climbeth into gain."
Far Went the Road and Winding FAR went the road and winding Among the morning hills. Perpetual comfort finding And sunlit, singing rills. Far on, away, and hasting Toward what it never knew. Eternal wonder tasting Where bluebells gently grew. Through woods where shadows linger When sun is at his noon And where the sweet winds finger Wild harps with dreams atune. Anon, among the sand dunes Tossed up from waters wild With strangely plaintive grand runes
To thrill the sage or child. It sweats through town and city And through the blessed fields, And sobs not any pity. And yet swift comfort yields. 162
It trudges toward the mountains, The mountains green or bleak. And loves their rushing fountains And all the words they speak. Onward, forever onward. To river, farm and sea. Forever climbing dawnward In rainy, dusty glee.
The Hand of God T^Y Hand, O God, Thy pierced Hand, 1 I pray Thee, give it me; For on Life's icy stairs I stand And fear their treachery. Thy hand, so strong, so firm, so sure. What time I hold it fast, In storm's alarms, I stand secure And banter with the blast. hand of God, when held by Thee, What can my pulses stir?
1 walk straight on, upheld and free. And naught can me deter. I hold God's hand, God's pierced hand; Its wound doth bring me hope: My way I do not understand. And yet I do not grope. I hold Thy hand. Thy hand holds me: I climb Life's icy stair As I would walk a quiet lea, — o danger anywhere. 164
The Hush of Evening Settles on My Heart TTHE hush of evening settles on my heart, •■' o turbulence of day rolls thunder peal. Along the uplands of my soul. The weal Of life smiles gently and asserts its part In heavenly, chiming solacings. The mart Clanks not like warrior feet whose voice of steel Affrights; nor cares of soul make fierce appeal Of torrid toil and pain with bitter smart. The sun is set. I, tired, sink to rest. The purple sky grows ashen, sweet, and still; I hear the tir-ra-lira of the girls And boys at laughter as they face the west Where swings the silver moon. The dew hath chill; And from the sleepy chimney wood smoke curls.
A Summer ight SPICED through and through With Summer breath, And wet with dew And free from death. The night-air streams Along the hills, Where starlight dreams And grace distills. A night-bird calls Reiterant note Which limpid falls To pause and float Across the vale And to the lift Of willows pale. Which sway and drift. Asleep, yet not Asleep — awake To love, and thought, And night, and break 166
Of dawn, and drift Of perfume and
Or slow or swift, The mellow land Of mercy blest, And heart at calm Of faith and breast And life at balm. Awake, asleep, It matters not, We may not weep With heartsease fraught.
Across All Worlds I Think One Day To Stride ACROSS all worlds I think one day to stride, ^ Ill-fitted for such journey though my feet Would seem, which limp and weary for retreat At journey on a landscape far from wide. And such foot-sore attempt would fain deride A vaster venture, where the hills, so fleet Of foot, outrun all high attempts replete With courage. So I stand, perplext, defied. And yet, in nothing daunted, I proceed. With faith like banner swung to morning winds, And feel the vastness fitted to my soul. And walk I will, although my feet must bleed ! My heart shall ache until it surely finds Before its face eternities unroll.
I Know a Glorious Mountain Where the Day K OW a glorious mountain where the day Stands ever-radiant and no night-time falls, or ever weary wind of winter calls The snows to fill the empty nests. There play The west winds with the south winds and betray The hiding place of flowers. The mountain walls Climb dawnward radiantly, nor ever palls The blue far sky and fair to ashen gray. All-splendrous stands this mountain far away All-glory lit and sweet with balsam-breath; And where the many sing in vast accord The singers stand in glorious array; And never comes the cowled monk called Death. Majestic stands The Mountain of the Lord.
This Day I Front Me on Eternity T morn I said, when day was at gray dawn, "This day I front me on eternity;" And in full sense of that paternity Whereof tall angels with majestic brawn
Of wing do make continual boast, I, drawn As hasting freshets bound from hill to sea, Do urge my journey to eternity. By nothing wearied, and in nothing wan. So, blithe as morn with dewy freshness glad, I run elate along the climbing hill. And pass my happy day with heart at song: I take the mountain to my breast, not sad Because below me smokes the plain. The thrill Of everlastingness doth make me strong.
I Rest, Content F troubles vex me while I take My way along life's rugged road, I will not any outcry make, or even murmur at my load. If tempests make my noon hour dark. And deluge me with autumn rain, I still will press me toward God's mark. Where Christ shall be my deathless gain. So evermore I turn my face Toward God's Jerusalem on high. Where Christ prepares for me a place, And love and life shall never die.
I Climb the Hills
CLIMB the hills, the weary hills— The long, grim slants whose ways are steepWhere only weariness distills. And where the climbers climb and weep. Those hills I climb! Yet, what are they To one whose journey reaches, calm, Across eternities away. Where blow cool winds of blessed balm? For what are height and sunburnt plain That bring to me wild winds of loss. Who hold the everlasting gain. The smile and sunrise of the cross? Beyond this murk my mountain sweeps And thrusts above the cruel dark, Where never heartache sits and weeps. But only sings the heavenly lark. Ah me, my heart, hush all thy grief, Although thy grief hath sore distress. Thy sobs rain on the ways beneath: Thy laughter shall the mountain bless. 172
So climb thy hill, my bleeding feet,
or any moment cease thy praise. For thou art careless of defeat Whose conquest owns life's deathless days.
I Think of Him THI K of him when daylight slants toward night, And all the sky is crowded with strange glow. Caught on the vagrant clouds and, holden so, May last a little ere it loses light. I think of him when day is lost to sight. When gloaming deepens and the shadows grow Their forests to the stars and dim winds blow From space to space, irrelevant in flight. I think of him who comes to me no more Who often came in days which now are fled; Whose smile was winsome as a woman's kiss. When, without knock, he opened wide my door Like to an angel guest, but now is dead. I think of him and him shall ever miss.
lS for me. May I be sung to By the sea; And my soul, Let it be clung to By life's whole. For my brain. Let it be talked to By the rain. My life's mart. Let it be walked through By God's heart. And for me. Let me be sung to By God's sea. Still, for me. Let me be clung to. Lord, by Thee.
I Saw the Leader of an Orchestra SAW the leader of an orchestra
Who stood, not having any instrument — ot vioHn, where joy and tears are blent; ot flute to blow on or to touch and draw Sad, silent meanings out; nor cymbal's flaw To stammer stutterer's speech; nor drum where pent Wild tumults are and jarring discords, meant For battle charge, for peace and right and law. So without instrument the Master stood; But at his lift of hand the music wakes. And bow and lip and hand conspire to find The hid upbraidings and the subtle good Each flute or drum or babbling trumpet makes. To beckon music like to stormy wind.
I Know a Wildwood Coppice K OW a wildwood coppice where The shadows and the sunHght share The summer's day; And where at night the whippoorwill Doth with his moonhght phrases fill The place alway. At summer, there the drip of rain Doth hymn a sibilant refrain For Grief to hear. At autumn, there the sad leaves float, And sobs pipe from the blackbird's throat o notes of cheer. And there the spleenful winter writes
His arabesques on shivering nights. And beats his drums And shouts, with drunken brawler's voice, "The year is dead! Rejoice, rejoice. o summer comes!" < And in that coppice, growing wild. Come wind-flowers, tossing undefiled When soft winds blow; 176
For spring, with gentle hand, hath slain The winter wild, and brought again The wind-flower's snow. I know a coppice which my heart Haunts, at the dawn or twilight dim, With happy songs. And where, when I am sorely pressed, My spirit comes to pray and rest Apart from throngs. A quiet coppice know I where My God hath planted forests fair For me, for me! Where I may hie and sing and be At rest beneath the greenwood tree. Full merrily.
Great Swordless Captain Lincoln REAT swordless captain, in whose rough-hewn hand The majesty of might is resident; Thou whom democracy named President, To rule in equity a troubled land, And for eternal rightness take thy stand, — With thee, with scant delay, fierce armies went, And voice of gun and sword made argument For liberty this earth could understand. Great captain of the princely art of peace, Thou new and occidental manhood-plan, The fearless leader of a fearless race, — Thou swordless magistrate, whose fierce decease Has pointed manhood to a worldhood man. We look with hope and tears upon thy face.
Out of the Deeps DEEP in dark deeps, With blackness for my sky. My soul but weeps, "How full of sin am I." Lost in bleak night. Below all hope I lie: Out of God's sight, I, doomed, sink to die.
Out of such deeps My soul to God doth call. Up to those steeps Where God is all in all. From out my deeps My God hath heard my cry: I climb the steeps Through Him into His sky.
The Vapor Spoke "T^HE flower which blooms and fades A Is kinsman, soul, of thine: Starlight which night invades. And silvers fields and brine, "Is thy true kinsman, too: Brief as that starlight, thou, — It dies at break of blue To crimson dawn and glow. "Fleet as a blowing wind Across a clover field, Thy life which lived and sinned Or holy deed did yield.'* All this the Vapor spake, The vapor of the night. With words the heart to break And courage put to flight.
'T was only vapor spoke. And not the day at dawn; A harp forlorn that broke, — And not unf righted brawn. 180
The Fog that hugs the earth Hath Httle wit to know The soul's immortal worth To live and love and grow. An Easter Hymn LORD, Thou hast risen from the dead, -^ Thy grave is empty now: o longer is the tomb Thy bed or winter-cold Thy brow. Our graves are open to God's south. And His noon-light shines in: His might, which knows not flood nor drouth. Hath conquered death and sin. If our beloved faint and die. And we are sick with grief, We laud, and sing, what time we sigh, *'In Christ is our belief." He fled the grave, His grave and ours. And left it tenantless; And for those first, glad Easter hours His name this day we bless. 181
The Return SHE seed me cummin' ! How she knowed 'T was me a-eummin' down the road I can't remark, no more kin you; But, sure and sartin, it was true. She seed me cummin', loungin' like. Jest es a stranger. ary pike er gun across my shoulder flung, Only an empty sleeve I swung. She seed me! Standin' at her door. The sunshine washin' of the floor; She leaned and looked beneath her hand. And then give me to understand She seed me cummin', fer she came A runnin', callin' of my name, And kissed me, hugged me to her heart . Es ef we never more must part. And when the war of life is done. And that uncommon victory's won. And I go marchin' through the gate Where white-robed angel sentries wait, 182
She'll see me cummin', and will run And ketch and kiss her only son, And call my name and lead me through The house God built fer me and you.
I Found a Broken Harp Upon the Ground
FOU D a broken harp upon the ground, Where it had fallen from the weary hand Of harpist fading to the better land. I had no thought to waken it to sound: I only felt how life, not death, had crowned This pale, spent singer, and, with those who stand Before the King, he stood in high demand Of God, a singer of God's love profound. So out of love for one I had not known. And out of pity for a broken harp, I lifted up the wounded instrument, And from it came a melody like blown Crescendoes from the crystal sea, nor sharp or dull, but tears and hope and conquest blent.
An Angel Came O E noon I met an angel by the way, And, giving hand of welcome, bade him stay Beneath my roof and rest. He looked aweary, having traveled far; From heaven he came, in that remoter star Than men have mapped on the celestial sphere. With grave, sweet face he stood. His voice was clear As silver bells. He dressed In mystic, seamless garment, dyed with blood; And round him glory whitened like a flood Of morning light. My home with many a guest. Brave men and pure, had oftentime been blessed; But now, — an angel stood. Tall and compassionate, beneath my roof. At heart, I thought, "How shall I give him proof That he is welcome .f^" "This home," I said, "Is thine. Wait thou until the heat be fled.
And by the stream and wood Cool shadows gather. Angel, be my guest, Sit thou in quietude and take thy rest. My name is — " " ay," the gracious angel said, "Thy name is known in heaven; " and then he fled, Swift, like the light across the ample sea, But left an angel at my heart with me. 184
Beyond the Gates WHE day is done, and from the gaudy sky The glory fades, Then quiet falls; and rest comes by and by With night's kind shades. When life is done, and climbed its ragged steeps, All hot suns set; When in vast joy that neither sighs nor weeps We then are met, — What rest shall hold our hands, and grace. Like evening psalm. Shall whisper peace ! Then from the troubled face Heaven's blessed calm Shall every tear-stain wipe away, and fear; With Christ at hand o heartache can through golden years draw near That heavenly land.
The Tavern of the Comforted
TAVER of the Comforted, Upon the windy hill, Where all wild winds are full of wrath. And only hearts are still. O Tavern of the Comforted, Thou Hostelry of Christ, Where souls at struggle and in loss With Comfort find a tryst. O Tavern of the Comforted, Built on the angry hills, Where hearts which meet the Comforter Glad peace unfailing fills. O Tavern of the Comforted, Thou edifice of God, In thee is rest unspeakable Where storms walk not abroad. O Tavern of the Comforted, Thy Host stands at thy door And bids each traveler ** Welcome, A welcome evermore." 186
The storms clash round with angry gusts, And curse with voices vast. The Tavern of the Comforted Is built to stay this blast. Tavern of the Comforted, Where woes no longer fret, 1 bless my Christ for thy still rooms The while my cheeks are wet. There care lies down in weariness And rests its woe with One Who keeps house for the comforted Unto the rise of sun.
Life, Be Stern IX me a drink, O Life, A sullen drink of rue; Pour in both pain and strife. Pour in starlight and dew. Stay not thy hand, great Life, Be not for me afraid; Be surgeon's skill and knife, 1 shall not be dismayed. Mix me a stern, strong drink
Which scorched the lips of men Who climbed unto Death's brink To change the ow to Then. Stir black and bitter wine. Whereof the heroes drank Who wrought deeds stern and fine Before in death they sank. Give me no drug to hush The pain that burns the soul: Mix me the tempest's rush With waves that crush and roll. 188
Thy hands, stern Life, are red — As red as forest fire — With squeezing grapes that bled With torrent-Hke desire. owbeit, wine like this Has nurtured men of old, Strong men, God's rod to kiss. And turn earth's earth to gold. Wherefore I pray thee. Life, Mix me thy bitter drink: Blend for me woe and strife To live, to love, to think. To rush against the spears; or fret because the barb Digs deep and Death appears And robes me in his garb.
A Hymn CALL loud the triumphs of the Lord: Wake, wake, my heart, and sing. Wake, harp and voice, in vast accord. My soul, thy praises bring. The Lord who sphered this dim, blue star. Him praise. Him magnify; That Lord who journeyed from afar To set His cross on high. Praise Him! Let every single soul Lift high an organ voice; Let all by Christ the Lord made whole Sing now, "Rejoice, rejoice!" Halleluiah, halleluiah Unto thy King, my heart. Halleluiah, halleluiah.
Wings TJAD I such wings as lordly eagles wear, * *- And I could circle mountain peaks and soar Above their spires, and in deep valleys pour Reiterant circling shadows while through air I voyaged as a boat through seas, and bear Me on in triumph over ocean's shore.
So far and high my flight that ocean's roar Signaled me not, — could I with eagles share. My flight were not so high as now, my wings Less mighty than the wings which me upbear. My eye less keen than sight which now is mine : **I am God's son," my joyous spirit sings; I soar sublime above earth's dust and care. And wing my way to heaven with flight divine.
Along the Ceilings of My Being's Rooms
LO G the ceilings of my being's rooms The cobwebs hang. This housekeeping is poor It seems. The dust hes thick around. Obscure The objects which the place adorns. The glooms Of night are settled here as thick as tombs Along a windy battle-hill. The Cure Of souls hath not been here this while to lure My soul awake. o rose of morning blooms. Thou who orderest aright the room Of spaces infinite where burn the suns, And nothing swerves from order bright and high, 1 pray Thee rearrange my house. The gloom. Cobwebs, and dust, despair of soul, what shuns The light, extrude in answer to my cry.
All 's Well
.Y heart, The sun has set. ight's paths With dews are wet. Sleep comes Without regret: Stars rise When sun is set. All 's well. God loves thee yet. Heart, smile, Sleep sweet, nor fret.
Child Dreams O G since, a child, I wished the stars were close And neighborly, so I could reach a hand And grasp the shining baubles and command Their comely light, and grew ofttimes morose
Because my hand reached out, could not engross The thing I longed for, nor could understand That what I longed for was a foreign land, And not a dooryard voice, strong-breathed, verbose. But now when childhood days give place to strength Of manhood, and life's little thoughts arise To heights sublime and stand expectant, strong On frontiers far and fair and grand, at length I know with all my depths of soul, my Skies Command, ** Climb to the stars for which dreams long."
The Blessed Book LOOKED on a dim plain when sun had set — A wide, wan plain upon whose margin, far, •There glinted the lone light of one lone star; And on one marge the solemn sea did fret; And on this plain the centuries had met. The books the great had scrolled with iron bar Of girth and weight for pen to make or mar, And books the little souls had writ, still wet With futile dew, yea, all the books were there That men had penned in days of stress and war Or days of summer evening's calm and rest. They stood erect as soldiers, each head bare. When silence smote their shouting voices, for, August, there stood the Book the Lord had blessed.
Hymn LORD, my God, my feet ascend What time they make their way to Thee; For where Thou dwellest is the end. My journeys make eternally. And where Thou dwellest is on high, o matter where Thy dwelling stands, I dimb to Thee, and by and by That climb shall lead to Beulah Lands. I lift mine eyes, though wet with tears, Unto Thy mountain morning-browed: I make my way, though fogged with fears, Unto Thy cross where Life is vowed. My princeliest is where I meet The Christ upon the holy mount. My exaltation at His feet. My absolution at His fount. Lord, my God, my love is Thine, My heart lies broken at Thy cross: 1 catch the radiancy divine. And know not murmuring nor loss. 196
Help Thou my feet to climb Thy way:
Help Thou my thought to mount Thy sky: Gird Thou my loves that they may stay Ensphered in Thee and things on high. I Saw an Angel with a Smiling Face I SAW an angel with a smiling face And gentle look, who stood a little space Across a field of sweet forget-me-nots, And conning over many gentle thoughts; For, as he stood, his smiling grew more sweet; And in a gentle brook beside his feet He swiftly cast rose petals not a few, Some sweet and chaste and glistering with dew, Some nipped and wan as bitten by the frost; But still rose petals in the stream he tost. And from his shoulders swept strong wings of light That shone like stars across a summer night. A lily wore he blooming on his heart; And there he stood with smiling lips apart. As if to sing. Whereat, I, unafraid, "My homage! Thou,'' I said, "art life, God's breath." " Come nearer, brother," saith he, " I am Death." 197
Then God Takes a Hand Y life is a plowman's field That lies from sea to sea. The soil is too poor to yield Much fruit for eternity.
The soil is but pebbled grit: The plow turns up the stones, or even blackbirds flit Where furrows run. And moans The plowman called Life, "What gain To me who farm for bread. That here I should toil in vain, A farmer vanquished .f^" Then God takes a hand and brings Enrichment for the ground; And Life, the hale farmer, sings, "Gold harvesttimes abound." And at the red set of sun, When summer reaches night, With eternity begun. Whose day-dawn breaketh bright, 198
It may be that my poor land Shall radiant harvests yield. Because it was God took hand In farming my poor field.
I Saw the Swift Evanishment of ight
SAW the swift evanishment of night:
I saw the wild rose shimmer of the dawn: I saw the rapture of the leap of sun. When all the shadows banished were by light: I heard the robin-song across the lawn And felt a glory like a high deed done. I rise to watch the dawning of the day, When from the crabbed night bright day forth fares And bears upon his shining shoulders cares And joys, unruliness and song, and sway Of hearts which in God's hands are potter's clay, To be oft-shaped and so become the wares Of Heaven and the delight of Him who shares Our toils to make of life one endless day.
Thou Shalt ot "V/TE shall not take God's man who toils for food A And break him on the wheel of questless toil, And warp his soul by weary days and nights. Wherein is little gain and scanty bread. Ye shall not squeeze, slow-oozing, drop by drop, Heart-blood, till where his heart was stout There now is but a husk which out to sky Would rattle in the wind and make a moan Like wet wind blowing through the leafless trees. Ye shall not grind the children twixt the stones Of scanty laughter and unceasing work. or plow deep furrows in hearts innocent By long and feverish hours and scanty wage, Which earns not house and food and clothes. or makes a happy home where virtue sits and sings. The God who cares for beasts and sternly cried, " ay, muzzle not the ox which treadeth out The corn," that God is wide awake and stern To now, and has his eyes on men and holds
A trihulum impatient in His hands To smite, to sorely smite, the surly sons Of earth who render ruthlessness to men. Their brothers by the fashioning of God. 200
Ye shall not hurt the weaklings of the flock! Ye shall not trample on the sore beset Or weaponless, the immature in years Or gifts. They, too, are men, and sorely need A share and chance and air and sun and hearth. God is their Daysman, and will watch for them And stand between them and all sullen greed. And hear their clamors ere they come to voice. His gentleness shall surely make them great. Wherefore, all we of high or low degree Who hire a helper in our daily deed This shall we hear nor ever more forget: The deep beatitude of God abides On such as ever play the man with men; And God's stern summons to all sons of earth Against encroachment, is the "Thoushalt not."
A Resurrection Song npHERE is a song the ransomed sing 1 With wild, exultant breath, While all the chimes of Glory ring, "Christ triumphed over death." The Heavenly Hills are full of folk Who loved the Lord Christ here. And gladly bore His holy yoke, And lived devoid of fear. And now they chant the Triumph Hymn Before the Great White Throne, And lift a voice with cherubim To Jesus Christ alone. They taste the tireless victory Of resurrection joy; And for the far eternity Their ransomed powers employ. Where death no more holds surly sway. They dwell in endless spring; And where no life grows stooped or gray. They Jesu's praises sing. 202
TTie Desert Journey FRO T me on the wild, wide waste. Where grow the cactus and the sage: My fiery engine makes slow haste; My spirit feels the desert rage.
I chafe as chained eagle might, I lean and look and scent the sky; I clamor for an eagle flight To spaces where all streams run dry. The air is dry as furnace breath — Aroyas where the streams are not, The long, slow reaches, sown to death. As empty as a vacant thought. The desert with its crystal sky. The desert with its furnace flame. The desert where the lost men die With thirst and famine beyond name. The spacious desert reaching far As any human cry may pierce-
Where plinth and plant and sod and star Seem like a desert Bedouin fierce. 203
The desert where no orchids flower. or any corn-fields guard the roads. Which puts to rout all human power, And all our human pride corrodes. The desert where the silences Are hushed beyond the calms of men. As death lifts voice all whiles and says, "Mine are the land and horizon."
Where Lies That Land? WHERE lies the land of which ye spake, The gleeful land with voice all song, Where only happy breezes shake The happy leaves the whole day long? The happy land where clouds do throw A smiling sunlight on the grass. Where all day long the wild birds go. And sweet as chimes the glad hours pass. Where Fret and Care fold unused hands, With eyes brim-full of deep content. And full of happy wonder stands Who drives Heartache to banishment. Where is that land, that sunrise land. Where ecstasy its carol keeps. Like lute-notes from a dreamful hand. or any comer ever weeps. Where is it? Keep me not arm's length From that kind secret hid too long; Tell me, for with my might of strength, I care to pilgrim with that throng. 205
That land where dimb the purple hills, From which the shining rivers flow, Where all the greening valley thrills With hymns I heard, but do not know.
The land ye spake of when your eyes Were day-dawn bright, with wonder lit. The land of ocean-like surprise, Where joy and duties interknit. Where is that shore where swing the ships, Blown hither by the blessed winds. And from each prow the music drips: Each passenger contentment finds. Sun-land of song, where liest Thou? What star abides above thy place .^ My heart faints with thy wonder now! How shall I bear to see that Face?
I Stood at Bay Among Tall, Ragged Peaks I STOOD at bay among tall, ragged peaks: From fissured sides eternal snowstorms blew. On all their wastes no single grass-blade grew. Down wild ravines the bitter tempest shrieks, And on the wandering, luckless traveler wreaks Vengeance perpetual. or gentle dew Here falls, nor bloom the violets blue; or ever, singing, flow the crystal creeks. The while winds whistled past me dismally I saw a man agrope amongst the crags, With peering eyes obliterate with grief — Eyes blind as rock, hopeless abysmally — And harsh voice croaking, like a hundred hags, **This is The Wilderness of Unbelief."
Thy City, Lord "TTIE city blisters in the sun. The streets 1 Are warped with heat and packed with crushing crowds Of penury and wealth; and boiling clouds Of sooty smoke befog the skies. Lust greets Chaste virtue unashamed. The watchmen's beats Oft lead where drunken mm*der sits and shrouds His soul in infamy; and frowsled dowds Go past; and shame with murder meets. And yet, Thy city, Lord, is this vast place, So seeded down to shame and lechery. It was o'er it the Christ did weep long since: It was toward it He turned His yearning face What time His cruel day drew near to die. By city walls, there died the city's Prince.
Shakespeare TTHE years have clambered on with hastening feet ■■• Since first I read from thee, thou master bold. And play of thine to play of thine unrolled — Grim tragedies where pain with pain did meet. High histories where army, kingdom, fleet Flung each at each and masteries enscrolled, And shining comedies whose stories, told. Have driven to sunshine life's dull cloud and sleet. Once was I lad, but now am grown a man; And thy strange thrall on me hath grown till now The dizzy height thou wast against the night Hath higher grown than beckoning stars. The plan Of thy weird mind behind that placid brow Hath taken featuring of mystic light.
My Life Walks Out Into the Dawn
Y life walks out into the dawn, The sunrise climbs where I am come; I find large lines of battle drawn That tingle to the crashing drum.
The day is come, the day is sweet. But so are toil and sweat of fight; The green earth shakes to charging feet. The battle staggers, might on might. The wild rush answers to my blood: Volcanoes boil within my heart: Disasters bubbling on the flood Stern majesty to life impart. The day is fair, though sword and plow Do mingle flow of blood and sweat; The day is glad, although my brow With sweat and blood all day is wet. If I would stand where day hath dawned. And be with God a worthy guest,
To-morrow and the days beyond Must all be full of arduous quest. 210
My Soul, One Question ' I 'HI K'ST thou, my soul, when thou art dead A And lying quiet, nothing loath, The good of earth above thy bed, Shall bind them, as with sacred oath. Because of what thou hadst been here, To be the best their lives could think And count inconsequent all fear In love of thee, and boldly drink All fountains dry that flowed from God, And gladly do all gentle deeds For love of Christ, above the sod That holds thy dust like withered weeds? If so it hap, thou livest yet, Thy death is but undated birth; And love may smile through its regret, "He lives eternal in the earth."
Ulysses and the Sea I. Ulysses Victus
OOMED art thou, gray Ulysses, Spent all thy warrior might; Vain all thy regal battling, Lost like a bird in night.
Thou wast a far-known hero, Sea thine antagonist. ow, sea alone remaineth — Thou art a face of mist. Pale as the moon, Ulysses, Seen through a shag of storm. Thou art a spent delusion. Dimmed to a ghost thy form. Drowned in the seas. Great Battler. Seas have their way at last! Crush with thy waves, great Ocean; All save thyself are passed.
II. Ulysses Expugnaturus. Waves beat the brave Ulysses down; They tore him with their claws and teeth: His only sunshine was their frown : They climbed aloft, he sprawled beneath. They tossed him as they tossed a spar From some wrecked ship of yesterday.
They blew him, like a bubble, far: They flung him deep, where dead men stay. They laughed his futile might to scorn : They laid huge hands across his lips And scorned, "Thou, on to-morrow's morn, Shall share the yesterdays of ships." With all strength spent, and no shore near, But courage left with no regret. He gasped, "Grim sea, I bid thee hear: Know this, I shall survive thee yet."
III. Mare Victum. He fought the sea! The combing waves beat wrath on wrath; They crushed and climbed, and clave a path For shipwrecks. Glee They had when Death Came rioting along the gales And splintered masts and ripped the sails With jocund breath. That sea he fought: Those waves and winds, with riots lewd. He sailed against in battle mood. And cared for naught. They cowed him not. They wrecked him on their windy waste; Him, sole, forlorn, their angers chased.
With them he wrought A safe return. He rode their lions to the shore And gave a name to poet-lore Toward which men yearn. 214
The Years YOUR eyes are stern and open wide, nor close At all, but never-ending vigil keep. And out across all serious centuries sweep. Like some gaunt watcher of all human woes. Who, pale of face and cinched of lip, in throes Of pain unutterable, doth not weep or let a sullen cry of pain upleap; But in his stress, his spirit, doth compose. Stern are your eyes which watch the ways of men: Stern are your lips that utter not a word; Stern is your heart of frozen iron made: Stern are your hidden hands, yet know the ken To crown the brows of the great undeterred Who knew no fear that made their hearts afraid.
When Through the Dark I Grope YV7HE through the dark VV I grope, And on the husk Of hope I break my fast;
When Death, With jeer, at last lee-breath Into my face Breathes hard, And I, a space, A shard. Appear, whose use Is lost. Then will I loose The hasp Of Death's tight hold And leap, As wings unfold, or creep 216
Through the dull night, But dash From dark to light — A flash Of flame, God-sent And bold. Through heavens besprent Of old.
With startled suns. On high My orbit runs For aye.
Trust Y breath against the window-pane Is thick as dust. I, peering, look, and peer in vain: I can but trust.
WILL not chide The roughness of the way. or ask to ghde Like boat on summer bay Across these years. I love this battle thrust. These salt-hot tears, These storms, this thunder gust. Why should I, late Though I have come to earth,
In aught abate A warrior's work and worth? Be mine the grime. The battle blood and dust; Mine be the prime Of famine's surly crust. I must not slip Out past the guard by dark With mute, dull lips As criminals embark, 218
^ But with a shout Must leap against the spears, With fear and doubt Must anger all my years. I must ascend The steeps with dangers rife, I must defend God's truth and conquer life. So be it then. Welcome the snarls and fears. Time hastens when My victory appears.
Fear not! The dusk will find some light. Dark night some star. Fear not ! Thy sorrows shall take flight And wing afar. Fear not! 219
God Cares for Thee
lOD cares for thee! Between His palms Thy hands are holden fast and glad: His witchery Thy spirit balms; And in His morning art thou clad. He cares for thee! The pain of God, With all the throes that Passion knew When wearily Christ kissed the rod, Was meant to give that love a clue. He cares ! He cares ! The Lord of all Has stretched His bow across thy cloud; And unawares Unto thy call
Comes His, "I care," like trumpets loud.
Light at Eventide HE the daylight fades From my life's sky, And dusky evening shades Droop low and lie As clouds at anchor, blest Am I, if, far Or near, my eyes may rest On Christ, my Star. Then, glooms I will not chide or fear the night, Knowing at "eventide It shall be light."
There is Dusk for the Day THERE is dusk for the day And dew for the drouth; There 's a hush where to pray And wind from the south. There is light on the clouds When daylight is spent;
And God's mercy still crowds Life's hovel and tent. 221
As One Who Tugged At By The Sleeve Awakes
S one who tugged at by the sleeve awakes From slumber deep, but cannot open eyes With suddenness to catch the wild surprise Of vasty sea which him confronts, but takes His time to rub his lids apart and shakes With slothful toil, his slumber off nor spies The shoreless majesty where distance dies And dawning of the everlasting breaks. So I whose sleeve is tugged at by the hand Of Providence sublime to bid me look And see eternity unroll like sky Dismantled of its cloud, do understand Far less than little till the Holy Book Doth wake my wonder with its mighty cry.
TTie Christ MA of sorrows He, and guest of grief. Who walked in quiet on life's humble ways And suffered all the slurs and dull dismays Which crush on mighty souls. His days were
brief — A sudden splendor cleft with storm. Belief On Him grew dim, though great hearts walked through haze Of doubt and fogs of death with shouts of praise, And knew Him glorious and acclaimed Him Chief. But now He stands strange, uncompanied, vast. Tall as all solemn, purpling mountains are — Stands, while majestic, crumbling centuries waste. The moaning travail of His soul is past. He hath throned Love and wrought Redemption far; And who believeth on Him shall not haste.
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